Ananda Pagoda

Ananda Pagoda

 

Ananda Pagoda also known as Ananda Pahto, is estimated to be a monument of the early 12th Century. It is one of the finest, largest, best preserved and most revered of the Bagan Pagodas. This pagoda was donated and built by King Kyansitthar in the early Bagan Period.

The central square measures 53 metres along each side while the superstructure rises in terraces to a decorative 51 metres above the ground.

Ananda Pagoda
Ananda Pagoda

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.

There are four entrance to the Pagoda. On each side, facing outward from the centre of the cube, there are four standing Buddhas represent the four Buddhas who have attained nibbana. Each standing Buddha Image has a height of approximately 9.5-metre and covered with gold.

Ananda Pagoda
Grace that is Ananda

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. Theses two original images have great architectural inspirations. 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. 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'.

In the western sanctum, there are two life-size lacquer statues said to represent King Kyanzittha and Shin Arahan, at the feet of the standing Buddha. Shin Arahan was the first monk who initiated the king of Bagan into Theravada Buddhism.

Ananda Pagoda festival is held yearly around January. Locals come with bull carts, horse carts and stay there as long as the festival goes on. Many visitors are attracted to this yearly event.

Ananda Pagoda
Kakusanda Buddha Image inside Ananda Pagoda

Ananda Pagoda
Another standing Buddha Image

Ananda Pagoda
A stone relief depicting Buddha's life

Ananda Pagoda
Ananda Pagoda and Thatbyinnyu Pagoda at night

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