Ananda Temple Description:
The Ananda Temple is one of the best preserved Buddhist structures in the ancient temple city of Bagan.
The gold capped 12th century temple was just one of more than 10,000 religious structures that existed when the Kingdom of Pagan ruled the region known today as Myanmar. Some 2,000 structures remain of the once grandiose civilization.
Constructed in 1105 by King Kyanzittha, Ananda Temple is laid out in a cross pattern in line with the four cardinal directions. The four wings stretch north, south, east, and west with an entryway at the end of each corridor leading into the sanctuary. Four Buddha statues face outwards from the center point of the temple. The 31-foot-tall statues were carved from teakwood and covered with gold, but only the images in the northern and southern plinths are original carvings. The east and west facing statues are replacements installed after a fire in the 17th century.
A series of 552 terra cotta tiles adorns the hallways depicting the multiple incarnations of the Buddha in traditional reliefs known as Jatakas. About 1,500 stone sculptures line the temple’s corridors, and 80 of them depict scenes from the life of Gautama Buddha during his search for enlightenment.
Best Time to Visit Ananda Temple:
Between November and May the warm, dry weather makes for the best sightseeing around the ancient structures of Bagan. Between June and October the area sees increasing levels of rainfall that restores the wide Bagan Plains to a verdant green.
How to get to Ananda Temple:
The volume and complexity of religious structures rivals the sprawling Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia. While the ancient city has not been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, it’s every bit as spectacular and awe inspiring. The Bagan Plains are particularly stunning in the setting sun when the thousands of temple structures are bathed in a ruddy glow.
Ananda Temple Highlights:
The Ananda Temple lies on the plains of the city of Bagan. Guests on our luxury tours of Myanmar reach the city via flight from Mandalay, and then are chauffeured between the numerous temples and religious structures by a private vehicle.
While most of the temples on the Bagan Plains are no longer actively used for religious purposes, Ananda is a thriving center of Buddhist activity in the ancient city. Buddhist modesty requires visitors to wear modest clothing that covers shoulders, arms, and legs while walking on holy ground. Areas within the temple may also require visitors to remove their shoes when entering.