If you’re planning to visit Myanmar, Bagan temples would be one of the highlights of your trip. And there are many reasons for it. This ancient city is a blend of culture, architecture and kind people. The simplicity and the surreality of the experiences it offers will fill your soul.
Bagan is also called a photographer’s paradise, for it offers a lot of photo opportunities of different kinds. Be it, people photography or architecture or landscape. You will not be disappointed.
Bagan Temples and also the amount of them, are at the core of giving this place the surreal feel it has. There are more than 2000 temples which are part of the Bagan Archaeological Zone.
Here are 7 out of the 2000+ pagodas you must visit:
Htilo MinloOne of the many massive Bagan temples. It was built in the 13th century the during the reign of King Htilo Minlo. It is 46 meters high and easy to find if you are on the Anawratha Road (Which is the Main Road).
ShwezigonOne of the oldest pagodas in Bagan, it was opened in the year 1090. I recommend you to go there at dusk as the gold-plated dome shines during the golden hour. This temple you must visit to experience the grandeur of the ancient beauty and for memorable pictures. It is situated in Nyaung-U ( pronounced: Nya oo) in Bagan.
One of the best spots to watch the mesmerizing Bagan sunset. However, recently in 2016, there was an Earthquake which caused damage to the monument, after which climbing the terrace is not allowed. The name Shwesandow mean a golden sacred hair which is how the legend goes. The temple enshrines a Buddha hair relic. It is not allowed to climb anymore. However, I recommend this as a must visit.
DhammayangyiIt is one of the most noteworthy of all Bagan temples. A 12th-century temple which is also the largest in Bagan. A must visit to get a glimpse of the grandeur of that age.
Ananda TempleA 900 years old temple, which is well preserved and beautiful. It is one of the few bagan temples which are white in color. Probably one of the tallest idols of Buddha in the whole of Bagan is in here. Above all, a must visit.
Temples for Sunrise views
One of the best times for photography in Bagan is the golden hour. The light of a few minutes before sunrise and almost half an hour after, makes the whole landscape bathe in the golden light. However, It is also important to be on the right spot to capture the best shot. Among 2000+ Bagan temples, there are many which offer a good view. I’ve chosen three among those which all offer different views and are a certainly worth a visit.
One of the most popular spots in Bagan to watch the sunrise. It offers a great view on three sides. Also, it being popular makes it even more important to reach early morning, in order to avoid the crowd.
Dhammayazaka (One near it)
This temple glitters in the morning light and the floating hot air balloons around it makes an even more amazing view. For that, you will need to be on the rooftop of another pagoda behind it, from rooftop you will get the above view.
Dhammayangyi (One near it)Dhammayangyi looks amazing in the morning dusty haze of Bagan. To get this view, you will have to find a spot from where you can see this temple and surroundings. Myauk-guni and Shwesandaw are two such spots