Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Myanmar: Into New Bagan and Ananda Pagoda

ananda paya floating buddhaWith a whole morning to spare before i ride the bus back to Yangon, I got another horse cart driver to go to Ananda Pagoda in New Bagan. O wouldn't want to repeat my previous experience of going on a pagoda tour because O want to spend time appreciating the pagoda, not zipping through stupas after stupas.

For a change, Ko Lin, my guide and horse cart rider is knowledgeable and hardworking. On board horse cart no. 117, we chit-chatted about New Bagan and I quickly appreciated what this friendly young man, is willing to share.ananda paya groundsI chose the Ananda Temple since it is considered the most important pagoda here and often, the recommended starting point for most visitors.C ompleted in 1091, the temple is considered to be the oldest surviving masterpiece of Mon architecture. The temple has four main halls, each with a vestibule with niches containing a 31 foot teak Buddha image. The Buddhas each face a different direction - Gautama, the west; Karushandha, the north; Konagamana, the east; and Lassapa, the south. Only the north and south images are originals, the other two are replacements for those ruined by thieves. Looking up, the roof with 389 terracotta glazed tiles make the temple distinct with the largest collection of terracotta tiles seen in any temple in Bagan.ananda paya chinthes on the roofI wandered into the darkened corridors as people continue to stream into the temple, appreciating the niches where Buddha images seem to hover above eye level into the ceiling. I maybe Catholic but i do appreciate the calm, the serenity of the temple, its labyrinths and halls pervaded by the smell of incense, the murmur of prayers, and the offering of good intentions.

10 comments:

Ferdz said...

Ananda Pagoda is beautiful especially with that buddha statue. Love the last shot as well. Timing yung mga ibon and framing of elements.

It's great this time matino yung horse cart driver mo.

lagal[og] said...

amigo, apat na big buddhas yan facing the north, south, east and west. naku, buti na lang talaga, matino yung horse cart driver ko for a change. i wouldn't want to pay for a lazy driver again :D proves to me nga na hindi naman sila pare-pareho.

the donG said...

amazing shots oggie. i really like the last photo as it was timely that those birds flyover. it made the shot so dramatic.

these are structures built as early as 11th century? wow! great heritage.

Sidney said...

My favorite picture is also the last one...
Once I have discovered all of the Philippines I really need to go there... looks like it is still tourist free...or is it just an impression?

Lantaw said...

astig yung last photo! parang choreographed pa ang flight nila

lagal[og] said...

dom, ganon katagal na yung mga structures nila. credit the lack of industrialization and the dry, hot weather for the temples' survival.

sidney, myanmar is still very much tourist-free. the restrictions make it for a tricky destination and i guess a lot of people would choose to backpack in thailand, laos or cambodia instead where they are more welcome.

allan, i took 3 or 4 shots before i was able to take that shot :)

fortuitous faery said...

stunning photos! but i must also say that i adore your header graphic...now i regret throwing away our fridge magnets! i like that marinduque magnet the most! :)

lagal[og] said...

thanks faery. nice to hear from you again after a long while. i also like the marinduque masskara magnet kasi kakaiba. also the tarsier magnet from bohol. thanks for dropping by :D

Vikki said...

Great photos! I particularly like this entry because I've never been to Myanmar. This makes me wanna go there. Too bad, there's no direct flight. Heehee. Maybe next time, when I have more time to travel. Pero great shots. Thanks for sharing.

lagalog said...

Thanks Vikki. It's great to reminisce about this trip as well and I hope, God willing, to come back to Myanmar some day.

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