Shwesandaw Temple is very crowded at sunrise because it’s a great place to take advantage of the view over the surrounding temples. But just a few hours later, the crowds dissipate and you can take your time climbing the steep steps. It’s said to be one of the first pagodas built by Anawrahta, the father of the Burmese nation, and was built in 1057. Situated outside of the city walls and along with four other pagodas, it provides spiritual protection for Bagan.
Shwezigon was built in the 11th century as an important shrine in Bagan, a center of prayer and reflection for the new Theravada faith. The temple stands between the villages of Wetkyi-in and Nyaung U. The large golden pagoda towers over the temple grounds. There are lots to look at here, intricate designs and beautiful colors.
The Manuha temple is on the right side of the main road going south from Bagan. and right in Myinkaba village. The name of the temple was given after the name of the captive King Manuha. Traditionally. Manuha was considered one of the earliest temples at Bagan. The temple is a series of reduplicated squares with the lower storey larger than the upper. There is a large seated Buddha with 46 feet in high with the right hand touching the earth. Two smaller Buddha with 33 feet high on each side.
Dhammayangyi Temple was built by the tyrant King Narathu during his three-year reign. From a distance, or ballooning above, the temple looks like an Egyptian pyramid and it’s the most massive in size structure in Bagan. Locals refer to it to the haunted temple and think it is haunted with the sins of the ruthless King Narathu who killed his own father, brother, and queen. Others think there are hidden treasures behind the blocked up walls. The temple is also home to the rare double Buddha statues.
Built in 1091, Ananda Temple was fully restored after an earthquake in 1975. The spires were guilded in 1990 for the 900th anniversary of the temple. The location is convenient for the bus tours to unload and a market is also set up. Once you bypass all of that though, the courtyard is an extremely peaceful place to sit and admire the temple’s exterior.