10/25/13 - 10/25/13
We returned to one of our favorite areas of Bagan, the South Plain. It holds fewer of the more popular sites and is far less trafficked, much nicer for a leisurely visit. We went to the Payathonzu Group first and checked out the amazing murals. It is a 13th century temple and wasn’t finished before the mysterious exodus from the city. Li Li, an enterprising painting seller and keyholder, gave us a nice tour and opened Thambula Temple next door so we could look at the impressive artwork there.
Thambula Temple, South Plain Bagan
Inscription stone with temple history in Pyu Language (No longer spoken)
Hidden gem with awesome murals inside- not telling where
We took a walk around a nearby temple undundergoing reconstruction and then headed to the village for refreshments. Afterwards the pool beckoned to relax for the rest of the afternoon. Bagan is gaining in popularity, even since 18 months ago when we visited previously. It is not hard to see why. Below the pics is an intro to a writeup in the London Daily Telegraph appearing last month.
Bagan in central Burma is one of the world’s greatest archeological sites, a sight to rival Machu Picchu or Angkor Wat but – for the time being at least – without the visitors. The setting is sublime – a verdant 26 square-mile plain, part-covered in stands of palm and tamarind caught in a bend of the lazy-flowing Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) river and framed by the hazy silver-grey of distant mountains.
Rising from the plain’s canopy of green are temples, dozens of them, hundreds of them, beautiful, other-worldly silhouettes that were built by the kings of Bagan between 1057 and 1287, when their kingdom was swept away by earthquakes and Kublai Khan and his invading Mongols. Some 2,230 of an original 4,450 temples survive, a legacy of the Buddhist belief that to build a temple was to earn merit.
Most are superbly preserved or have been restored by Unesco, among others, and many contain frescoes and carvings and statues of Buddha, big and small. Only a handful are regularly visited, and though tourist numbers are increasing and the hawkers are beginning to appear, this is still, by the standards of sites of a similar beauty and stature, a gloriously unsullied destination. (London Daily Telegraph August 2013)