Ananda Temple Nyaung-U, Myanmar

Bagan Archaeological Zone , Nyaung-U

On the road between Nyaung U and Old Bagan, rises one of the most beautiful and sacred temples - Ananda. It is called the "Bagan Jewel" and is one of the most beautiful and most famous Temples in the whole kingdom. The temple was destroyed by an earthquake in 1975, but it was completely rebuilt, restoring its former splendor. It is very well maintained and its dome reflecting the sun's rays gives the impression of being all of pure gold. According to legend, the temple was created by 8 monks who traveled around the Himalayas and found a small cave there, which turned out to be an ideal place for meditation. When they returned to Bagan, they presented to the king the idea of creating a temple that would have a similar temperature that the one found in Himalaya. The king was delighted and asked the monks to create such a temple. When the construction of Ananda was completed, the king ordered to kill the builders, to be sure that no other building would be built anywhere else in the world. Ananda is built on a Greek cross plan. It has very long four holes intersecting in the center of the object at right angles. The whole is topped with a stupa with the shape of a convex square rising to a height of 52 meters. The four sides of the temple symbolize the four Buddhas who have achieved Nirvana. This temple is a great combination of the Mon’s and Hindu architectural traditions.

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