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The Ananda Temple Bagan

A monumental Buddhist Shrine​

Yangon
Myanmar Bagan
Bagan Temple
Bagan Architecture
Shwezigon Bagoda
Mural Paintings
Mandalay
A Gigantic Buddhist Shrine
The Ananda Temple was built under King Kyanzittha in (1084-1112), one of the most popular figures in Myanmar history and the main person behind Buddhism ideology together with Shin Arahan a monk from Thaton.

The main entrance to the temple is facing the city and the hills across the Irrawaddy river, where, according to legends Gautama Buddha have been long time ago A relative freedom in the orientation.

This was characteristic of the architecture of the early times. While it was usual to place the main entrance to the East, but a different direction was chosen sometimes taking into account the general principles of the alignment of facades to the cardinal points.





A Place of Worship
With bright, cream-colored walls. The whole architectural ornamentation is implemented in stucco-carving. As with other shrines, the walls have a smooth surface, decorated are only the base, pilasters, cornices, gables and window surrounds, the elements that show the tectonic structure of the building.

This magnificent Buddhist Temple was built in the years of 1091-1105 is a good example of a centric temple and the form is an over dimensioned greek cross.  The shrine is one of the 10 biggest temple structures in Bagan.
Ananda Temple in Bagan
Business at the temple
Another one still in good condition is the Dhammayangyi Temple built in 1165th. Having a strong geometric character and the somewhat very sober facade he stands behind the expressive forms of the Ananda Temple. But the Dhammayangyi shrine is one of the unfinished temples at Bagan which is nothing special actually most of the Buddhist Temples around are not finished or just deteriorated over time.

The structural center is the massive square center and at every side of the square is a niche with a 12 m high Buddha Statue of the last four one: Kakusanda in the north and Konaganama at east plus Kassapa at south and Gautama at the west.

The temple layout is more or less a Greek Cross with pilasters and horizontal profiles outside. The effect of these decorative arrangements and the windows give a two level impression, indeed the temple has one story. The two rows of windows let enough light in to illuminate the corridors and the Buddha sculptures in the niches.

The Ananda  temple architecture

The Kassapa Buddha Statue
On the west side of the building. The army of the Mara demons is shown threatening the Buddha, and on the east side the Bodhisattva praised by the gods after his victory over Mara .

The inscriptions in the compositions containing the names of the persons and the names of the depicted object.

These sacred shrines were called "Gu", which means cave temple, this name corresponds to the character of the interior which is basically a hall. The peace and tranquility prevailing there should help to achieve the aspired state of introspection and recollection. the way from the bustle of the world agreed wholeheartedly with the basic tenets of Buddhism calling to get rid of all earthly conditions and desires. 




The construction of the temple structure symbolizes the characteristic Buddhist cosmology,  the model of the world and the universe plus the interface between people and the gods. The Temples are virtually built for eternity, characteristic are also the colors of the Ananda Temple. 
jataka story wall bas-relief
Entering the temple is also a great relief to escape the heat outside
Ananda Shrine Photos
It’s cool in the semi-darkness of the Ananda Temple interior.  

The image of the quiet hermitage, away from the bustle of the world, agreed wholeheartedly with the basic tenets of Buddhism calling to get rid of all earthly conditions and desires. Entering building is also a great relief after the heat outside, it’s cool in the semi-darkness of the interior.

Here is an old fashioned temple, the walls were decorated in accordance with the local tradition, this are almost always mural or wall paintings which are sometimes not in good conditions, cleaning and restoration is a continuing task. Many murals are not visible very good while the sculptural decoration is visible without problems. This monument could be seen as veritable sculptures and relief museum of medieval Burma, and every plastic and structure are assigned to carry a particular visual content.

At each of the four entrance portico are reliefs. Each representing the eight major events in the life of Gautama Buddha and repeated accordingly. These subjects are widespread, with an accurate and consistent iconography.

These eight scenes are considered the most important in his life and their repetition was hardly accidental, the people have attached particular importance to these pictures.

The corridor around the central pillar

Here are two rows of 80 niche embedded in the solid wall sandstone reliefs show the life of Gautama Buddha before his enlightenment. All figures are covered with gold leaf, with red on the background. These reliefs sequentially depict events from the life of Prince Siddhartha, who became a hermit at the age of 29 and with 35 years a Buddha.

The cycle begins with the presentation of the King Suddhodhana, father of him who, as the - albeit controversial - inscription under the relief tells sit together with Maya, the mother of the Bodhisattva, and her sister in the palace at Kapilavastu, there are different interpretations of this scene. One thing is certain, the artists of that time dealt very freely with the sacred Buddhist texts.
  1. approaching the Ananda Temple
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Ananda Bagan Smoky Temple Tour
Ananda Temple tour
The subject is always about Buddha's Life
Photos
The compositional schemes are manifold. Some of them are very laconic others more complex. Over centuries, the temple captivates the attention of researchers.

The first one to measure and describe it in 1855 was the British officer and scholar Henry Yule. The measurements of the Ananda Temple made by him very carefully have not lost their value and a Buddhist life .
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