These are the pagodas in Bagan that you should visit. You can read the first part of this series in the previous post. Today, I’ll be introducing you to another eight ancient temples that are either partly restored or still in ruins. I won’t bore you with the history of these pagodas, but I’ll share whatever I wrote down on my travel notes and from what I remember.
9. Shwegugyi Pagoda
Its name means “Great Golden Cave.” However, by looking at its facade, nothing spells golden or cave. As you can see, the facade still looks great but there’s no budget to clean it up to reveal its white color. This temple has impressive carved wooden doors and arched windows.
10. Thatbyinnyu Pagoda
Visitors can tell, from its facade, that this temple is not an ordinary temple. Its size tells how important it was in the 12th century, at the time of its completion. Thatbyinnyu Pagoda is the tallest pagoda on the plains of Bagan. Its design reflects the creativity and architectural ingenuity of the Burmese at that time.
11. Shwe San Daw Pagoda
Even by just looking at this pagoda, I could tell that this one has the tallest stupa of all Buddhist pagodas in Bagan. You can climb up to the top, but for some strange reason, the last two floors/terraces were closed on that day. I guess it was my unlucky day! 😂 See the statue of a Ganesha, the Hindu god with an elephant head on every corner of the terraces. And as you can see in the photo below, yes, you can ring that bell, too!
12. Dhammayangyi Pagoda
This is the largest temple on all of the Bagan plains. Interesting history says that King Narathu killed his father and brother to take the throne. And this temple was built to be huge to “atone” for his grave sins. Inside, you will statues of Gautama Buddha and Maitreya Buddha, sitting next to each other.
13. Sulamani Pagoda
I’d say that Sulamani Temple is one of the most impressive temples in Bagan. Its architectural style has influences from Thatbyinnyu Pagoda (#10) and Dhammayangyi Pagoda (#12). Inside, the frescoes – though faded in time – are still a sight to behold.
14. Sunrise Viewpoint
The Sunrise Viewpoint was near Sulamani Pagoda, so we decided to stop by for a while. There’s really nothing special here, except that there is an elevated hump of land where people watch the sunrise. The surrounding area has a. lot of trees – and from where I stood, I can mostly see the stupas of the temples nearby.
15. The Unknown Pagoda
Ok, this pagoda has a name but my driver and I were trying to find its name and we couldn’t find it. He asked two locals who were there but, unfortunately, they didn’t know, too. The temple is still quite in good condition and the statues of Buddha are pretty huge and well-restored.
If you know the name of this temple, let me know so I can update this post.
Update (August 5, 2022): A reader, Nick, says that this unknown pagoda is called Pyathetgyi Pagoda. Thank you, Nick!
16. Ananda Pagoda
Perhaps, Ananda Pagoda is the most preserved pagoda of all pagodas in Bagan. You have to pay to enter the temple. Inside, you will find four huge Buddha monuments, each facing North, South, East, and West.
My adventure in exploring the temples in Bagan continues in my next post.
Tours in Bagan
If you know how to ride a motorbike, then I won’t recommend you to join a tour. Renting a motorbike is cheaper, of course. But if you’re not into searing heat from the sun or you don’t want dust, then, go and join the tour. Remember that in Bagan, you will be on a dirt road most of the time, so you might not like the dust anywhere. Sitting in a comfortable car suits you fine, I suppose. Here are some tours you could take in Bagan.
Hostel in Bagan
The best hostel where you can stay in Bagan is at BaobaBed Hostel. It’s clean and the beds are comfortable, too. Staff members are helpful and they help you with all their might. The hostel is also surrounded by restaurants and souvenir shops. If you want to rent an electric motorbike, the rental place is just across the street. You can also find other accommodations of your type on these websites: Booking, Expedia, and HostelWorld.