|Type of monument
||: Temple based - Indian Style Structure
||: Southeast of Tharabar Gate
||: Old Bagan
||: King Kyanzittha
||: A.D 1105
||: View 17 Photos
Ananda temple is considered to be one of the most surviving
masterpiece of the Mon architecture. Also known as the finest,
largest, best preserved and most revered of the Bagan temples.
During the 1975 earthquake, Ananda suffered considerable damage but
has been totally restored.
It is said to have been built around 1105 by King Kyanzittha, this
perfectly proportioned temple heralds the stylistic end of the Early
Bagan period and the beginning of the Middle period. In 1990, on the
900th anniversary of the temple's construction, the temple spires
were gilded. The remainder of the temple exterior is whitewashed
from time to time.
BUDDHA AT FOUR CORNERS:
Kassapa - South
Kakusanda - North
Konagamana - east
gotama - West
There is a legend saying that there were 8 monks who arrived one day
to the palace begging for alms. They told the king that once, they
had lived in the Nandamula Cave temple in the Himalayas. The King
was fascinated by the tales and invited the monks to return to his
palace. The monks with their meditative powers they showed the king
the mythical landscape of the place they have been. King Kyanzittha
was overwhelmed by the sight and had a desire for building a temple
which would be cool inside in the middle of the Bagan plains. After
the construction of the temple, the king executed the architects
just to make the style of the temple so unique.
The nativity at lumbini
sHIN aHRAHAN, THE MONK WHO RBOUGHT bUDDHISM TO
The structure of Ananda temple is that of a simple corridor temple.
The central square measures 53 metres along each side while the
superstructure rises in terraces to a decorative cliff 51 metres
above the ground. The entrance ways make the structure into a
perfect cross, each entrance is crowned with a stupa finial. The
base and the terraces are decorated with 554 glazed tiles showing
jataka scenes (life stories of the Buddha) thought to be derived
from Mon texts. Huge carved teak doors separate interior halls from
cross passages on all four sides.
Facing outward from the centre of the cube, four 9.5-metre standing
Buddhas represent the four Buddhas who have attained nibbana
(nirvana). Only the Bagan-style images facing north and south are
original; both display the dhammachakka mudra, a hand position
symbolising the Buddha's first sermon. The other two images are
replacements for figures destroyed by fires. All four have bodies of
solid teak, though guides may claim the southern image is made of a
bronze alloy. If one stand by the donation box in front of the
original southern Buddha his face looks sad; while from a distance
he tends to look mirthful. The architecture of the images were so
artistic that they happen to make such appearance.
The eastern and western standing Buddha images are done in the later
Konbaung or Mandalay style. A small nutlike sphere held between
thumb and middle finger of the east-facing image is said to resemble
a herbal pill and may represent the Buddha offering dhamma (Buddhist
philosophy) as a cure for suffering. Both arms hang at the image's
sides with hands outstretched, a mudra unknown to traditional
Buddhist sculpture outside this temple. The west-facing Buddha
features the abhaya mudra with the hands outstretched in the gesture
of 'no fear'.
At the feet of the standing Buddha, in the western sanctum, sit two
life-size lacquer statues said to represent King Kyanzittha and Shin
Arahan, the Mon monk who initiated the king into Theravada Buddhism.
Inside the western portico are two Buddha footprint symbols on
Ananda temple festival falls on the full moon of Pyatho (usually
between December and January, according to the Lunar Calendar). The
festival attracts thousands of locals from near and far. Up to a
thousand monks chant day and night during the three days of the