Attractions in Bagan


A spectacular plain stretching away from the Irrawaddy River, dotted with thousands of 800-year old temple ruins. Although human habitation at Bagan dates back almost to the beginning of the Christian era, Bagan only entered its golden period with the conquest of Thaton in 1057 AD.


The name means City of Immortality, but its period, as capital was brief. It was founded by Bodawpaya as his new capital in 1783, not long after he ascended the throne, on the advice of court astrologers. His grandson and successor, Bagyidaw, moved back to Ava in 1823. The four pagodas that marked the four corners of the city walls still remain, as well as the watchtower and treasury building.


One of the finest, largest, best preserved and most revered of the Bagan temples. Thought to have been built around 1105 by King Kyanzittha, this perfectly proportioned temple heralds the stylistic end of the Early Bagan period and the beginning of the Middle period.


Built when Bodawpaya moved the capital to Amarapura, it was destroyed by fire in 1821. It was rebuilt several times and it is no longer a monastery, but houses a museum and library, of interest for its collection of palm-leaf manuscripts.


Right on the bank of the Ayeyarwady, this cylindrical Pyu-style stupa is said to be the oldest in Bagan. Local residents claim it dates to the 3rd century. The distinctively shaped bulbous stupa stands above rows of crenellated terraces.


The brickwork of this temple is said to rank one of the finest in Bagan. Built in the 12th century, it is not exactly clear by which King actually started the construction. Some sources say it was King Narathu, others say it was constructed a little earlier, during the reign of King Alaungsithu.


One of the largest and most imposing of the Bagan temples, it was mostly built during the reign of King Narapatisithu but was finished by his son, King Htilominlo. The name literally means Platform to which Homage is paid.


Built in 1113 by Kyanzittha's son Rajakumar, this temple is famous for its well-preserved Stuccos from the 12th century on the outside walls. The magnificent paintings date from the original construction of the temple and are considered to be the oldest original paintings in Bagan.


Inspired by the Mahabodhi at Bodh Gaya in India, this temple was built during the reign of King Nantaungmya (1211 – 1234). Temples of this nature only appeared during the Late Bagan period and the Mahabodhi is the only one of this style in Bagan.


The Manuha Temple was built in 1059 by King Manuha, the King of Thaton, who was brought captive to Bagan by King Anawrahta. It enshrines the unusual combination of 3 seated and one reclining image Buddha. It is said that this temple was built by Manuha to express his displeasure about his captivity in Bagan.


Monastery has ornate woodcarvings and is built of 267 teak posts. The main hall stands on raised platform, separate from the monk's quarters, and is designed so that the space between the walls and roof allows air to circulate. It is set in the middle of the Le Daw Gyeethe royal rice fields.


This small, single chambered temple is dating from the 13th century. The mural paintings in the interior tell the story of the "temptation of Mara".


Bagan's only Hindu Vaishnavite temple probably built in the 10th century to serve Bagan's Indian community of merchants and craftsmen.


Built by King Bagyidaw in 1820, this well preserved pagoda stood outside the old city walls. The lower terraces have marble slabs illustrating jatakas (scenes from the Buddha's life).


Probably built during the reign of Kyanzittha (1084-1113), although it is popularly held to be one of the five temples built by the non-historical King Taunghthugyi (931-964). Painting remnants along the interior passages may rate as the earliest surviving murals in Bagan.


Little remains of the palace except for two masonry buildings - the treasury building and the old watchtower. King Bagyidaw and King Bodawpaya were both burnt here on the site of their 'tombs' and their ashes placed in velvet bags and thrown into the Ayeyarwady River.


Following the sacking of Thaton, King Anawrahta carted off some 30 elephant-loads of Buddhist scriptures and built this library to house them in 1058. The design follows the basic Early Bagan gu plan, perfect for the preservation of light-sensitive, palm-leaf scriptures.


Built by Alaungsithu in 1311, this smaller but elegant pahto is an example of the Middle period, a transition in architectural style from the dark and cloistered to the airy and light.


In 1057 King Anawrahta built this Pagoda following his conquest of Thaton. This is the first monument in Bagan, which features stairways leading up from the square bottom terraces to the round base of the Stupa. This Pagoda is ideal to watch Bagan's magnificent sunsets.


King Anawrahta started the construction of the Schwezigon Pagoda to enshrine some relicts of Buddha. The construction was finished by his successor, King Kyansittha between 1086 and1090. Originally the Shwezigon Pagoda marked the northern end of the city of Bagan. The stupa's graceful bell shape became a prototype for virtually all-later stupas over Myanmar.


Built in 1181 by King Narapatisithu this temple is one of the best examples of the later, more sophisticated temple styles. Carved stucco on moldings, pediments and pilasters represents some of Bagan’s finest ornamental work and is in fairly good condition.


This temple rises up to 61 meters and is one of Bagan’s tallest monuments. It is also called the "Omniscient" temple and its enormous size makes it a classic example of Bagan’s middle period. King Alaungsithu built the Thatbyinnyu Temple in the 12th century.


A long and rickety teak bridge, curved to withstand the wind and waves, crosses the shallow Taungthaman Lake. During the dry season, the bridge crosses mostly dry land.