Photo: Traffic!

Old Bagan to New Bagan

Our rating:

This temple tour is high on sites but short on distance, with a mere four kilometres or so separating New from Old Bagan. If you’re coming from New Bagan then bicycle power is ample though the route does undulate more than the Nyaung U to Old Bagan route, but if you’re doing it from Nyaung U, an e-bike may be a better option.





We’ll starting in New Bagan and head out of town to the north, making our first stop at the fairly minor (in the scheme of things) Sein Nyet Nyima stupa and Sein Nyet Ama temple. Ama is the temple sitting upfront and Nyima is the stupa behind. The names mean "elder sister" and "younger sister" respectively. It is unusual for a stupa of this size not to have stairs leading part of the way up from the cardinal points, but this makes it all the more beautiful for its uninterrupted curves. Instead, at each of the points there is a niche housing a seated teaching Buddha. Note also the mythical beasties at the corners of each of the terraces that support the stupa.

More traffic! Photo taken in or around Old Bagan to New Bagan, Bagan, Burma_myanmar by Mark Ord.

More traffic! Photo: Mark Ord

Next stop up the road is Nagayon, meaning "protected by a snake" (naga). While this was not the original name it does relate to a legend surrounding the temple origins. The site is said to mark the spot where Anawrahta’s son, Prince Kyanzitta slept, sheltered Buddha-style by, you guessed it, a snake. Believed to date to the 11th or early 12 century, the site is today guarded by a large wall with smaller gateways at its cardinal points. The interior grounds have a rustic charm to them, with shrubs and spindly grass growing out of the walkway. The main temple has three terraces, with small stupas at each corner and at the centre of the middle level. The gleaming white spire looks like a bit out of place, and it is -- the original collapsed in the 1975 quake.

A little further along the road on the opposite side lies Abeyadana, named after an 11th century queen (wife of Kyanzitta), who heralded from what is now Bangladesh. The temple is unusually decorated with frescoes depicting Mahayana themes -- contrasting with the Theravada images at most other temples. Photography is forbidden inside, so you’ll have to visit yourself or take our word for it. You’ll need a torch and to find someone with a key at this little ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Location map for Old Bagan to New Bagan

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Popular attractions in Bagan

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Bagan? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Burma_myanmar.


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