Bagan and around
Bagan was founded in A.D 107 by King Thamudarit (one of the Throne from Thayaykhittayar) who ruled from A.D 107-152. Bagan Dynasty lasted for more than 1,000 years (1,213 years) under the rule of fifty-five Kings. Therefore, it is one of the longest dynasties in Myanmar History. Most of the Kings ruled in Bagan Dynasty were religiously built the buildings and monuments to express their heart and belief to Lord Buddha although Buddhism was widely taught to people of Bagan by The Great King Anawrahta - 42nd King of Bagan, founder of 1st Myanmar Empire. The Wise King Anawrahta introduced the Theravada Buddhism to Bagan People after scrutinizing Buddhism with respectable grand monk " Shin Arahan". The principle of Lord Buddha is to become Good True Theravada Buddhist People and to keep systematically in right version.
Till the time of King Anawrahta, the mis-lead religion was over ruled lead by peoples called A Yee Gyi (who were specialized in Physical exercise like martial art, extreme exercise on wrong way of meditation, etc). King Anawrahta request to have the copy of the Tripitaka (also known as Tipitaka) from Tha-hotne which was also in threat of Gyun Soldiers ( Cambodia). King of Tha-Hton, King Ma-Nu-Har denied to bestow the Tripitaka script to Bagan King.
King Anawyahta succeeded Tha Htone by the Military power (Kyan Sit Tha who become King later and famous for his loyalty and faithfulness to King Anawrahta in Bagan Dynasty lead then. Mason, Stone Carving Artist, Musician, Dancers, Literatures, Scriptures were taken to Bagan. Finally, compromising with Bagan's own original art became the creations of the remarkable historical architectures which we can see till today.
According to the record, Myanmar people traveled by sailing through Ayerwaddy River to sea. From the sea, they traveled to Thi-ho @ Ceylon (Sri-lanka) and it surrounding area, traveling at the Marta Ban Bay leading to India. They traveled by inland water way to China, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. The wharf of Law Ka Nandar which still exists in Bagan, was the kind of international harbor on that days. The Trade Ships from China, India, Thi- Ho @ Ceylon ( Sri-Lanka), were anchored and did the trading broadly at Bagan.
One stays at The Magnificent Bagan to see all the Existing Pagodas and Monuments, it will not be enough to stay only a month or two.
Place of Interest
Bagan has uncountable places of interest. However, just to have an overall brief view of visiting Bagan and its scent, the following are the places you should see once you are in Bagan. Nowadays, we call Bagan which includes the areas of Nyaung U, Bagan ( Old and New towns), Myin Ka Bar Village, Thiripyitsayar Village, Min Nan Thu Village and Phwa Saw Village ( east and west).
Places around Nyaung U
- Shwe Se Gone Pagoda (Most Powerful and Wish fulfilled Pagoda)
- Kyan Sit Thar U Min (Kyanzitthar Tunnel)
- Gu Byuk Gyi (Wat Kyee Inn)
- Kyauk Gu U Min (it is built or carved at the stone cliff of Ayeyarwaddy River. Built for Meditation in 11th Century. Renovated by King Narapati Sithu who ruled 1174-1211)
Places around Bagan
- Hti lo Min Lo
- U Pali Thein
- Tharabar Gate (City Gate of Bagan)
- Ananda Pagoda (most fine art of mason work, and amazing architectural and ventilation system. There is a proverb Art in Ananda, Height in Thatbaynyu, Volume in Damayangyi).
- Pi Ta Kat Teik (Built right after King Ahnawrahtar brought the Tripitaka script from Tha Htone)
- Shwe Gu Gyi
- That Bay Nyu Pagoda (Highest Pagoda in Bagan )
- Damayan-Gyi Pagoda ( Most huge mass)
- Shwe San Daw (One of the Buddha's hair given to Myanmar was enshrined)
- Kantawpalin Pagoda
- Bu Pya Ya
- Museum (most of the acient items from Bagan history including stone scriptings were stored)
Places around Myin Kabar Village
- Myin Ka Bar Gu Byauk Gyi (Similar to Maha Bodi in BhudGaya)- First Myanmar Scripting on Marble Slab known as Mya Zedi Stone Scription was found in this Pagoda.
- Manu Har Pagoda (Captive King of Tha-hotne expressed his feelings being as be dethrone King who far away from his kingdom)
- Nan Pagoda (Nan means Palace)
Places around Thiripyitsayar
Places around Min Nan Thu and Phwa Saw Village
Places around Bagan
Popa is approximately 1 hour drive from Bagan as well as from Sale. At the lower Hill side of main Popa mountain, there is a Forest of Teak and Petrified Wood. Over there, at the 798 meters above sea level, there is Popa Resort - from where you can see and unforgettable views of Plug (737 meters above sea level.) which was covered with flowers because the name Popa was named by the Pali word Poppa means in flowers. Popa is marked as Spiritual Area for 37 Nats (Spirits/ God). Mount Popa itself is an extinct volcano. The peak of Mount Poppa is 1518 meters above sea levels.
Popa area is rich of Soil and therefore, you will see a lot of herb plants growing naturally and also flowers including Myanmar Orchids, Roses, etc. That is why Popa is the main place of Flower supply to Bagan Palace in Bagan Dynasty. You will hear a long and sad heart shaking story of U Byat Ta who was assigned by King Anawrahta to pick, gather and to bring the various flowers from Popa to Bagan. The places remain as evidence of his existence and his heart-braking story with Mae Wunna.
Sa-Lay (Sale) It is now existed as a small town down -stream from Bagan - Nyaun U. The small town is now still holding all the magnificent Myanmar Fine Arts with it. The main attraction is Yoke Sone Kyaung (complete monastery) wooden monastery. This magnificent wooden monastery was built in M.E 1244 (around A.D 1882). Building has 154 teak pillars. It also has many very detailed Buddha Jataka by carving the wood at the outside on all around the building. Inside the monastery, you will definitely feel fascinating when you see earthenware from old time, religious texts which are in foldout palm leaf inscriptions, various Buddha images, Lacquerware offering bowls, decorated boxes for storing robes. All those things give good impression of Myanmar's Glorious Cultures and Traditions.
Place of Interest
- Yoke Sone Kyaung
- Shin Bin Maha Laba Pagoda (6 meter high Buddha Image made from lacquer and sawdust. It has around the back cramp doors. You will experience to crawl into narrow small interior of the statue.)
- Shin Pin Sar Kyo (Built in A.D 1174 by King Nara Pati Sithu to mark the spot where King Anawrahta Stopped for rest after conquering the Mon Capital - Tha - Htone in 1057. The compound is so quiet and you will feel the magical sense. A lot of Bagan era stupas side by side, monasteries and meditation halls, brightly painted Jataka Murals, plaster sculptures and Paintings. Especially, it is decorated the pagoda with Beautiful Patterns and Designed Glass Mosaic Teak Columns.