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Shwesandaw and Dhamayangyi Pagodas, Bagan


Shwesandaw Pagoda was the first to be built by King Anawrahta after his conquest of Thaton in 1057 A.D., and is a cylindrical stupa with five terraces. It is one of the few pagodas that it is still possible to climb, and is a very popular destination at sunset. Unfortunately the hordes of coaches that arrive park right next to the pagoda and kick up clouds of dust. Also, the upper level of the pagoda is quite narrow in places and get very crowded, not the place for anybody who is afraid of heights.













Dhammayangyi Temple is the largest of all the temples in Bagan. The Dhammayan, as it is popularly known, was built during the reign of King Narathu (1167-1170). Narathu, who came to the throne by assassinating his father Alaungsithu and his elder brother, presumably built this largest temple to atone for his sins.

The Dhammayangyi is the widest temple in Bagan, and is built in a plan similar to that of Ananda Temple. Burmese Chronicles state that while the construction of the temple was in the process, the king was assassinated by some Indians and thus the temple was not completed. Sinhalese sources however indicate that the king was killed by Sinhalese invaders. The temple's interior is bricked up for unknown reasons, thus only the four porches and the outer corridors are accessible