Bagan is in many respects the most remarkable religious city in the world. Jerusalem, Rome, Kiew, Benares - none of these can boast the multitude of temples and the lavishness of the designs and ornaments that make the deserted capital on the Ayeyarwaddy to a wonderous marvel. The whole space is thickly studded with pagodas of all sizes and shapes. At one time there were 13,000 temples, pagodas and religious structures. Today, only over 2,300 remain, with others only visible as small piles of rubble. Surrounding all this are wonderful villages, where life goes on much as it did when the temples were at their peak, and here too, cottage crafts remain, including the making of the best lacquerware in Myanmar.
Is one of the tooth relic pagodas built by the founder of Myanmar. The stupa's graceful bell shape became a prototype for virtually all of the later stupas in the country.
One of the finest, largest, well preserved and most revered of the Bagan temples, which was built in 1105 by King Kyanzittha. This perfectly proportioned temple heralded the stylistic end of the Early Bagan Period and the beginning of the Middle Period.
Similar in plan to the Ananada Temple, this later temple is much more massive and known as the biggest temple in Bagan.
A 50 minutes' drive and 29 miles southeast of Bagan, make your ascent to the mystical place of Mt. Popa, the home of the nats. The mannequin-like display of the 37 nats at its base is one of the highlights of this excursion. Like pilgrims, you make the climb up the winding, covered walkway to the top. From there you are able to see the monasteries, stupas and shrines and experience the glorious views.
It takes you one and a half hour and 54 km along the Ayeyarwaddy River to reach the home town of the "Shakespeare of Burma", U Ponnya, the most celebrated poet of king Mindon's court. No wonder that his monastery is one of the most beautiful in this country!
YOUKE SONE KYAUNG MONASTERY
Carried by 154 teak pillars, it was donated by King Mindon in his honour in 1879 and displays many of the poet's original writings. Splendid teak-carved three-dimensional reliefs decorate the exterior walls of the entrance.
BAGAN ERA MONUMENTS
Among the 103 ruins which are similar in design to those in the outer circle of the Bagan monuments you will find the
Dating back to the 13th century and being the largest lacquer Buddha image in Myanmar. The legend says that the 8 meter tall Nan Paya floated on the Ayayarwaddy to Sale.