Bagan Temples and Pagodas

Bagan situated on the left bank of the Ayeyarwady River in the arid plains of Central Myanmar is a place of historical and architectural importance. It was here that the ancient kings of Myanmar held sway for more than twelve centuries and left behind a rich history and awesome architectural monuments, the Bagan temples and Pagodas, that still speak of the greatness of that era.

In 1057 AD a great number of monks, artists and craftsmen came to the bustling city and it was from these monks the citizens of Bagan received their religion and scriptures. Thus began under the patronage of the King, hectic and extraordinary building activity over a span of two centuries that resulted in thousands of monuments (Bagan temples and pagodas) of all shapes and sizes spread over Bagan and decorated and embellished with incredible frescoes.

Bagan Temples and Pagodas

Bagan temples follow two styles, the pre Buddhist temples built by the Bagan’s with no influence of the Mon monks are imposing, tall, with plenty of light coming in and airy. The temples built by the Mon monks are characterized by dark corridors, with very little light coming in through perforated windows. Bright frescoes and Mon writings dominate the walls of the temple. The temples are meant for worship and meditation.
The Bagan pagoda is a solid stupa, pyramidal in shape, exquisitely detailed and designed. Usually it has a bell shaped dome topped by a finial and situated amidst receding terraces. Pagodas are symbols for worship.

Bagan Temples and Pagodas

Bagan Information

Bagan Coordinates: 21°10′N 94°53′E
Country Myanmar
Division Mandalay Division
Bagan Population
 - Ethnicities Bamar
 - Religions Buddhism
Time Zone MST (UTC+6.30)

The More Famous of the Bagan Temples and Pagodas are:

  • Ananda Temple: soars to a height of 51 meters and was built by King Kyanzittha in 1091AD and houses four great statues of the Buddha.
  • Gawadawpalin Temple of Bagan, constructed by King Narapatisthu in the 12th century measures 60 meters.
  • Dhammayangyi is the largest temple in Bagan built by King Narathu in 1170 AD.
  • Mahabodhi is a replica of the famous Bodhi temple in Bodh Gaya and contains numerous niches of the seated Buddha.
  • Shwezigon is a Bagan pagoda, is a reliquary containing the bones and hairs of the Buddha.
  • Bupaya Pebinkyaung is one of the smaller pagodas with a bulb shaped dome built by King Pyusawadi who reigned from 168 to 243 AD.
  • Lawakananda Pagoda enshrines a replica of the Buddha’s tooth and was built by King Anawrahta.
  • Shwesandaw built in 1057 by King Anawrahta, is a reliquary enshrining the hairs of the Buddha.
  • Mingalazedi Pagoda, built in 1284 by King Narathihapate, is one of the few monuments which has an entire set of glazed terra cotta tiles depicting the Jataka Tales.

Kings of Began

Name Relationship Reign (AD)
Thamudarit   107-152
Yathekyaung Preceptor of Pyusawhti 152-167
Pyusawhti Son-in-law of Thamudarit 167-242
Htiminyin Son 242-299
Yinminpaik Son 299-324
Paikthinli Son 324-344
Thinlikyang Son 344-387
Kyaungdurit Son 387-412
Thihtan Son 412-439
Thuyai Usurper 439-494
Tharamunhpya Grandson of Thihtan 494-516
Thaiktaing Son 516-523
Thilikyaungnge Son 523-532
Thinlipaik Brother 532-547
Hkanlaung Brother 547-557
Hkanlat Brother 557-569
Htuntaik Son 569-582
Htunpyit Son 582-598
Htunchit Son 598-613
Popa Sawrahan Usurping Priest 613-640
Shwe Onthi Son-in-law 640-652
Peitthon Brother 652-660
Peittaung Son 660-710
Minhkwe Brother 710-716
Myinkywe Usurping son-in-law 716-726
Theinkha Court nominee of blood 726-734
Theinsun Son 734-744
Shwelaung Son 744-753
Htuntwin Son 753-762
Shwemauk Son 762-785
Tun Lat Brother 785-802
Sawkhinhnit Son 802-829
Khelu Son 829-846
Pyinbya Son of Khelu 846-878
Tannet Son 878-906
Sale Ngahkwe Usurper of the blood 906-915
Theinhko Son 915-931
Nyaung-u Sawrahan (Taungthugyi) Usurper 931-964
Kunhsaw Kyaunghpyu Son of Tannet 964-986
Kyiso Son of Nyaung-u Sawrahan 986-992
Sokkate Brother 992-1017
Anawrahta Son of Kunsaw Kyaunghpyu 1044–1077
Sawlu Son 1077–1084
Kyanzittha Brother 1084–1113
Alaungsithu Grandson 1113–1167
Narathu Son 1167–1170
Naratheinkha Son 1170–1173
Narapatisithu Brother 1174–1211
Htilominlo Son 1211–1234
Kyaswa Son 1234–1250
Uzana of Pagan Son 1250–1255
Narathihapate Son 1255–1287
Kyawswa Son of Narathihapate 1287–1298
Sawhnit Son 1298–1325
Uzana II Son 1325–1369

Bagan Cultural Sites

  • Ananda Temple, c.1090
  • Bupaya Pagoda, c.850
  • Dhammayangyi Temple, c.1165
  • Dhammayazika Pagoda, 1196–98
  • Gawdawpalin Temple
  • Htilominlo Temple, 1218
  • Lawkananda Pagoda, built by Anawrahta
  • Mahabodhi Temple, Bagan, c. 1218
  • Manuha Temple
  • Mingalazedi Pagoda, 1268–74
  • Myazedi inscription, c. 1113
  • Nanpaya Temple, c.1060-70
  • Nathlaung Kyaung Temple, mid 11th.C.
  • Payathonzu Temple, probably around 1200
  • Sein-nyet Ama & Nyima (temple and pagoda, 13th century)
  • Shwegugyi Temple, 1131
  • Shwesandaw Pagoda, c.1070
  • Shwezigon Pagoda, 1102
  • Sulamani Temple, 1183
  • Tan-chi-daung Paya
  • Tharabha Gate, c.850
  • Thatbyinnyu Temple
  • Tu-ywin-daung Paya

List of Pagodas in Burma

  • Yangon (formerly Rangoon)
    • Shwedagon Pagoda
    • Sule Pagoda
    • Botahtaung Pagoda
    • Kaba Aye Pagoda
    • Chauk Htat Kyi
    • Koe Htat Kyi
    • Mae Lamu Pagoda
    • Kyauktawgyi
    • Kyaikkalo and Kyaikkalei


    • Mahamuni Buddha
    • Shwenandaw Monastery
    • Kuthodaw Pagoda
    • Sandamuni
    • Shwe Kyi Myin
    • Atumashi Monastery
    • Kyauktawgyi Paya Pagoda
    • Mandalay Hill
  • Bagan (formerly Pagan).
    • Ananda Temple
    • Thatbyinnyu Temple
    • Shwegugyi Temple
    • Gawdawpalin Temple
    • Pahtothamya Temple
    • Bupaya Pagoda
    • Mahabodhi Temple
    • Shwesandaw Pagoda
    • Tharabha Gate
    • Sulamani Temple
    • Dhammayangyi Temple
    • Mingalazedi Pagoda
  • Nyaung U & Wetkyi-in
    • Shwezigon Pagoda
    • Htilominlo Temple
    • Gubyaukgyi Temple
    • Manuha Temple
    • Nagayon Temple
    • Gubyaukgyi Temple
    • Seinnyet Nyima Paya & Seinnyet Ama Pahto
    • Lawkananda Pagoda
    • Leimyethna Temple
    • Dhammayazika Pagoda
  • Around Bagan
    • Mount Popa
  • Mawlamyaing (formerly Moulmein)
    • Kyaiktiyo Pagoda
  • Mrauk U
    • Andaw Temple
    • Shitthaung Temple
    • Htukkanthein Temple
    • Koethaung Pagoda
    • Pitakataik
    • Laymyetnha Pagoda
    • Shwe Daung Pagoda
    • Archaeological Museum


See Also Other Natural Wonders in Asia