Since I am in temple fatigue, I ask the driver to take me to somewhere where there are not temples. “This is an impossible request as Burma is about temples”, says the driver. “We visited 4 temples yesterday, and we will see more temple today,” he says. But I insist that I want to do other things as well.
So The first temple is Gubyaukgyi temple. The temple is brown/red, and looks like it has Indian influence. The best thing is that there are some things for sale, other than temple beads and donations!!. So I have a quick tour of the temple and the grounds. Then I buy some stupid things that I do not really need, like a
singing bell where the bell sings when you gently hit and move the knocker around the rim of the ‘bell’ which is really a bowl. Then I get a puppet, a really shiny and blinky one, that I do not know where to hang in my house. Having bought those things we then proceed to the next temple.
Htilominlo Temple is a beautiful temple. However, one cannot climb up the pagoda as it is decaying. After going into the temple, upon exiting, there are many stores selling souvenir. The temple is actually part of many temples in the surrounding area. One can climb up the old structures outside the temple and can have a panoramic view of the area.
The next temple is Ananda Temple which is known as the ‘white temple’. It is one of the most beautiful temples. It is also known as the umbrella temple as the King was chosen by where the umbrella pointed. Inside the temple there are four 9.5 metre high statue of Buddha in various posses. The teak wooden 9½ meters tall gilded images represent the four previous Buddhas that have reached nirvana, namely Kassapa Buddha (South), Kakusandha Buddha (North), Konagamana Buddha (East) and Gautama Buddha (West).
After that I decide to go for lunch. The driver takes me to Sarabha Restaurant. It is a nice restaurant and I was there yesterday for a comfort break. I tell the driver to join me for lunch. He drops me at the entrance and a waiter receives me and asks how many persons are coming for lunch. I say ‘2’, . He shows me a table and I waited for the driver, but I don’t see him. So I ask the waiter about the driver, and his answer is that this restaurant is for foreigners only!!! Drivers and tour guides are not allowed. Can you believe this?
Then we take another drive to this temple which is 60m high. Outside the temple, one can walk up a sort of hillock and can look down on the road and also take good photos of the temple.
Next temple is Bu Paya temple. This temple is situated at the bank of Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) river. There are 2 big guardian lions at the entrance. There is a walk that surrounds the temple and goes near to the river bank. The view over the river is nice.
We then move to Shwegugyi Pagoda.
Outside the pagoda, there are beggars. When I finish with the tour, I decide to give a lady with a young child some loose change. Then more come towards me. I have to move away quickly.
Just a note on this. Along the road moving from one temple to another, there are a lot of old beggars. When a vehicle passes by, they would beg with outreached arms. I am not sure whether they are successful in the begging. What I feel is that the country is very poor, and there are no industries or factories around. I think tourism is the largest sector of the economy.
Then, another temple!
I have to put my foot down!! No more temples. I was taken to a factory that makes lacquer wares. Photography is not allowed, so I cannot show you anything. I did not buy anything as nothing strikes my fancy.
Then I insist that I visit the museum. The Bagan Archaeological Museum gives a good picture of the history of Bagan. It has several floors and is very informative. If you are in Bagan, do give it a visit.
So that is all of Bagan. I do not wish to visit another temple. Some how I get all the temples mixed up and cannot remember which is which.
I am glad I am done and I return to the hotel. There is a feeder van that takes me to the bus station. And away I go to meet up with my friend in Inle Lake area. I am looking forward to a change of scenery.
To add to my exciting trip, I was stucked in the bus toilet as the curtain from the bus window got caught in between the toilet door and I had to bang hard. Fortunately, a passenger seating near the toilet hears my banging and helps to open the door. Phew!! this should make my trip more interesting!!
That’s all for the time being. Please like and share this post with your family and friends. If you need some clarification, do get in touch. If you feel all confused about the temples, you have my sympathy because I feel the same.
So until the next post, do take care.