Ananda Temple – Bagan, Myanmar

And finally we reach Bagan, which was one of my bucket list locations.   I wcouldn’t wait to see the thousands of stupas scattered across the landscape.  And while I hate to give away spoilers, it didn’t disappoint!

Although I was most looking forward to seeing the smaller stupas on-mass, we also visited some of the larger temples too, such as this one – Ananda Temple.  In the Myanmar language, the name is written အာနန္ဒာဘုရား – doesn’t that look prettier than in English?

Ananda Temple was built around 1100AD by King Kyanzittha who was inspired by tales from monks who had visited India.  It was the first of the great temples to be built at Bagan and many believe the most beautiful, it is also one of the largest.

There are 4 large gold Buddha images in the four corners of the temple, 3 of these are shown below so you get the idea.  There is also an interesting optical illusion on the southern Buddha, that from up close he looks sad but from afar he looks happy.

Within the temple are hundreds of small alcoves with smaller Buddha images as well as remains of the original paintings on the walls.  While we were visiting, there was some conservation and restoration work being done with the assistance of the Indian government – this was also apparent at Wat Phu in Laos when we visited the previous year and similarly in Cambodia.

So enough with the waffle, and onto the pics…

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To see more about our visit to Myanmar, click here.



  1. It is almost impossible to comprehend that these were built 600 years before the European settlement of Aust and NZ. How totally magnificent.

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