Friday, 17 March 2017

Bagan temple complex

Once we were back on firm ground it was a quick change into the cycling gear and join the rest of the group.  We spent the rest of the morning exploring the Bagan temple complex by bike and by foot.

The Bagan temple complex is spread out as far as the horizon with its peaks of brick stupas that dot the skyline in many shapes and sizes.  The first one we visited was a stupa which could be climbed.  So up we all went, even me!

It was quite hairy and some of us need a bit of a breather half way up, 

but the view at the top was quite something.  Building on this site commenced after the former Kings of Bagab introduced Therevada Buddhism in the mid-11th century.  Many temples were built after that to worship their gods.   

Some were more brave than others!

The temple was very busy with many people making pilgramages.

I must admit that after awhile all the Buddha  images lost their appeal.

But I liked this grinning face carved in sandstone just to the right of the main doorway.

We didn't visit every temple, it would take months to do that, so Alex selected about half a dozen for us to go and see.

No mater how old they are, graffiti is everywhere, although in this case because it is several centuries old it almost seems like art!

This Buddha shimmered in the sunlight creeping it's way in through the main door.  Pilgrims buy gold leaf and rub it into the statue as they pray.

Some of the temples were plain inside whilst others were richly decorated with murals depicting the Buddha's life and ascension.

There are a lot of buildings in the complex!  Each one attracts its own circus of commercialism.

But these marionettes looked jolly hanging from the branches of a big tree.

Some of the smaller temples do not have lighting

and the floors are rough or sandy.  As you can see, I have Buddha toe nails too...

In the heat of the day I could have joined this reclining Buddha and had a little snooze.

Twin Buddhas!

Here we all are, slightly less bedraggled than in out last group photograph.

After lunch in a local vegetarian restaurant we went to see the Leaning Tower, the victim of the recent earthquake I suspect.  The afternoon was free time, and having been up and about so early it was a quiet siesta time for me.

Having seen the sunrise it seems only appropriate that I should watch the sun go down.  We ent to one f the local temples and climbed up a very narrow internal stairway right to the very top.

Where we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset.

The way down was light by tiny candles on the stair way, placed there and 'managed' by a group of three local exchanged for a donation, of course! But for ince I was happy to give them a handleful of local money for their entrepreneurial endever.

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