This once splendid and glorious capital of the First Myanmar Empire is now a 42sq.km area dotted with thousands of ancient pagodas, shrines, ordination halls and monuments. It is located at the eastern bank of Ayeyarwaddy River, with over two thousands and two hundreds religious monuments still standing and some tow thousands in ruins, can be specified as one of the richest archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. It is the most amazing site in Myanmar as in every direction we look, we will see ruins of all sizes huge and glorious like Ananda soar towards the sky, and small, graceful pagodas & temples stand alone in the fields. Some come with all manner of historical tales, while others are identified only by a number. Time, man and nature, particularly earthquakes, have taken their roll but the most important monuments have been restored to their original grandeur. As the monuments have the distinct features according to their period, we normally arrange the sightseeing according to the evolution of the architecture such as the Bupaya (3rd century, simple dome shape) and it was destroyed when it tumbled into the river in 1975 earthquake, but has since been totally rebuilt. The distinctively shape bulbous stand above the row of crenellated terraces.
Shwezigon Pagoda (11th century-landmark of Bagan): This beautiful pagoda was built to enshrine one of the four replicas of the Buddha tooth in Kandy, Sri Lanka. The stupa’s graceful bell shape became a prototype for virtually all later stupa over Myanmar. It is also known as the site where 37 pre- Buddhist nat where first officially endorsed by the Bamar monarchy and figures of the 37 nats are still can be seen at the temple.
KyansittaUmin CavesTemple was built in 11th century. It has long, dimly lit corridors are decorated with frescos, some of which are thought to have been painted by Bagan’s Tartar invaders during the period of the Mongol occupation after 1287.
Ananda Temple (11th century masterpiece of Bagan): It was built around 1105 by king kyansithar, this perfect proportioned temple heralds the stylistic end of the early Bagan period and the beginning of middle period. In 1990, on the 900th anniversary of the temple’s construction, the temple spires were gilded. The entranceways make the structure a perfect Greek Cross. 9.5 m of 4 standing Buddha image are placing at the main pillar of each entrance.
Gubyaukgyi Temple (11th century mural painting): This early period temple is also of particular interest for the well preserved paintings inside. The temple is typical of the Pyu or Early Bagan style in that the interior is dimly lit by perforated window. The fine stuccowork on its exterior walls is in particularly good condition.
Nanpaya Temple was constructed in the late 11th century. The masonry work destinationinformmm3– sandstone block facings integrated over a brick core – is particularly fine. Perforated stone windows are typical of early Bagan architecture. In the central sanctuary the four stone pillars have finely carved sandstone bas-relief figures of four faced Brahma, the creator deity is holding louts flowers, thought to be offerings to a free standing Buddha image.
Dhamayangyi Temple: It is an impressive structure and looks magnificent. It is similar to Ananda in plan, but it is bigger. The temple was built by King Narathu in 12th century. There are four main entrances but only the outer corridors are accessible as the interior is blocked by brickworks for unknown reason. It has large porticoes in the centre of all four sides, forming the shape of Greek cross. The top of the central stupa crumbled in 1975 by earthquake and the upper top portion was unfinished yet.
Sulamani Temple: It is one of the first examples of the late period of temple architecture. It is characterized by the use of smaller brick, the perfection of its arches ad its elaborate stucco work. Inside the temple, still can be seen the mural paint of 18th century. The building well lit with doorways ornamented with flame arches – the stucco work at the Sulamani is the best in Bagan.
Htilominlo Temple (12th century-the finest of pilaster) which is similar design to Sulamani temple. There are four Buddhas on the lower and upper floors. Traces of old murals are also visible. Fragments of the original fine plaster carving and glazed sandstone decorations have survived on outside wall. Bagan offers various beauties of the sunrises and sunsets from different monuments. The sunset cruise is also recommended to contemplate the glimpses of Bagan. Exploring this magical land by bicycles or horse carts will be one of the memorable experiences of the trip. However we recommend doing such experiences in the morning by sunrise time or in the late afternoon by sunset time in order to run away from the heat. We can also provide 11th century style horse carts, being decorated traditionally with lacquer paintings to your valued clients exclusively. As Bagan is the most important destination in Myanmar, international standard quality hotels are available and all of them have their own characteristics. Some are located by the riverside, some are in old city & some are in the new area. However as Bagan offers the marvelous landscapes from any part of the town, we have various options to accommodate. Fortunately, there is no city type hotel and all of them are built traditionally. The restaurants are serving quality foods and many of them are at the bank of the rivers. Some of them offer traditional entertainment at dinner time.
Ballooning over Bagan
There are three companies offering hot air balloon rides in Myanmar: Balloons Over Bagan (since 1999) with 15 years’ experience and a fleet of eleven balloons, which fits for 8, 12, 16 passengers the Oriental Ballooning(since 2013)with a fleet of three balloons each fits for eight passengers and newly established Golden Eagle Ballooning(since November 2014)with a fleet of three balloons each fits for 4,8,12 passengers. You can combine Balloons Flights with our products to meet your requirement and expectation. All ballooning flights reservation can be arrange-able through Adventure Myanmar and you will benefit the best available rates rather than direct online booking as we have special contract with the service providers.
Balloons over Bagan
Established in 1999 and over the past 15 years, Balloons over Bagan has grown from a single small balloon operation with 8 crew, to 11 balloon operations employing over 100 local staffs and 16 foreign pilots and technicians. Today it is operating ballooning flights in Bagan, Inle Lake and Pindaya.
Morning flights in Bagan with two Service Levels – Premium& Classic.
(Service is available from 1stOctober 2015 to31stMarch 2016.)
Inle Lake &Pindaya Balloon Safaris- Premium Level
(Service is available from November to late March.)
Established in 2013 and with the advice of Gone-with-the-Wind ltd. the company purchased brand new balloons from Cameron Balloons, Bristol UK, the world’s largest balloon manufacturer. It has been offering flights in their boutique 4-8 passenger balloons over Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake and Pindaya with more new destinations to follow soon.
Premium Services only
1.) Morning flights in Mandalay (Service is available from 16thNovember 2015 to 15thFebruary 2016.)
2.) Morning flights in Bagan (Service is available from 1stOctober 2015 to 15th April 2016.)
3.) Morning flights in Inle Lake (Service is available from 16thNovember to 28th February 2016.)
Golden Eagle Ballooning
Established in November 2014, with old experience in hot air balloon operation in Myanmar with a fleet of 3 balloons each fits for 4, 8,and12 passengers. Today, it is operating commercial ballooning flights in Bagan.
Morning sunrise flights in Baganwith two Service Levels - Standard & Premium.
(Service is available from 8 October 2015 up to 31st March 2016.)
Bagan Golf Club
After realizing the archeological monuments, please relax your mind by playing golf at Bagan Golf Club, it is open from 6 am to 6 pm, and is 18 holes course. Even though it is situated in the dried area, the green is acceptable for playing golf. The golf-set, the buggies, the umbrellas, the trolleys, the shoes and all the equipments for golfing are available for rent or sale.
Half day excursion to Mt.Popa is also available to get the new experience by enjoy the landscape of dry zone, typical villages, etc. An extinct volcano “Mt. Popa” is the highest landmark in the central zone, rises 1518 meters. It is 50 km, from Bagan (two hour- drive). Established as one of three national park, the Popa Mountain Park is now verdant and green with a rich flora especially of medial plants. It is a centre for Nat (spirit) workship in the shrine of the MahagiriNats. We can observe the cults of spiritualism in Myanmar with various figures. Because of its previous volcanic eruption (the last time was over two thousands and five hundred years ago), the soil is fertile and there are lots of trees, vegetables and fruits. Thus it can be defined as “Oasis of the Dessert”. Once we get to the base of the Mt. Popa cliff, we have to walk up over seven hundred steps. Even though we are tired, once we get on the top, the charming landscapes will await to relax the mind and body. On the way from Bagan to Mt. Popa, we can learn and understand the daily life of rural areas, such as how they cultivate the tropical crops, such as peanuts, beans, sesames, maize, etc,. Popa Mountain Resort offers a charming atmosphere with its particular style. The swimming pool with the view to Mt. PopaTemple is a recommended place to relax for a while when we make day return trip from Bagan. When we go overland from Bagan to Mandalay or Inle Lake and its environs, night stop here is suggested to keep away from long driving hours. The rooms have fully facilities with bathroom attached, mini-bar & T.V. They are air-conditioned even it is not necessary as it has the moderate climate.
It is a town at the bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. During the late Bagan era, especially the late 12th & 13th centuries, Salay developed as the expanding spiral of Bagan’s influence moved southward along the Ayeyarwaddy River. The British established a presence here, as testified by the presence of several old two-storey colonial building with activity again. Aside from the atmospheric old colonial buildings and the ruins, Yokesone wooden monastery, the oldest surviving wooden monastery represent as archeological museum of this small town. Inside the hall is a collection of antique religious objects of this area, including small wooden Buddha figures, heads, old pottery and votive tablets that may date from the 11th century to 13th centuries, many wooden images, graceful bronze and silver sitting Buddha images, etc. Shinbinsargyo Temple with long stairways contain hundreds of teak pillars & Buddha Image made of lacquer are highlights of Salay. We can make the day return trip either by car (two hours) or by boat.
It is a town with Myanmar majority, where there is a Myanmar cheroot trading centre. The town itself has not much to see but 20 km, Northeast of Pakokku are remain of Pakhangyi, century’s old town with old city walls, an archaeological museum and one of the oldest surviving wooden monasteries in Myanmar with 254 teak pillars. Further west is Myanmar’s largest wooden monastery with 332 teak pillars.