Buddhist Arts - a photographic journal


Location: Inside the Bagan city-wall, west of That-byin-nyu. Very close to Nga-kywe-na-daung (Ngakwenadaung). 

Year Built:  This is another temple among the earliest in Bagan, located inside the Bagan city walls. It is dated to the late 11th or early 12th centuries. 

Builder/Monarch: Luce dates this to the reign of Saw Lu (1077-84), who led between the reigns of Anawrahta and Kyanzittha. 

Architectural details: This is a large 2-storey temple. The ground floor has a central shrine, a corridor with niches on the outer side, an entrance hall with a porch on the east side, an internal staircase in the north wall of the hall (pictured in gallery). The upper story has 4 roof-shrines around the terraces and 3 square terraces with projections. There is also a 12-sided terrace and a 12-sided bulbous dome with 12 vertical radial bands radiating from naga heads, with a 12-sided crowning block and spire. The building techniques were improving from the time of Anawrahta.

Construction: brick masonry, cloister vault with light-holes over shrine, with barrel vaults throughout the rest of the structure. 

Renovations: As others in the area, the spire was damaged in the 1975 earthquake and restored by the early 80s. 

What else: This temple is an example of the advance of Theravadin Buddhism to Pagan in the 3rd quarter of the 11th century. The paintings represent new advances in increasing Buddhist scholarship coming from Ceylon. Our guide Minthu is pointing out some of the figures from a pamphlet about Buddhism and the Bagan temples he created. I’ve added them to the captions.

Ancient Pagan: Buddhist Plain of Merit, Donald Stadtner, River Books, 2013
Pagan: Art and Architecture of Old Burma, Paul Strachan, Kiscadale Publications, 1989
Guide to Bagan Monuments by Min Bu Aung Kyaing, U Zaw Min Aye (Zaw Press), 2007
Inventory Of Monuments In Bagan, Pierre Pichard, UNESCO, 8 volumes, 1992-2001