Ananda Temple, Bagan
January 4, 2012 by staff
Ananda Temple, Bagan, The Ananda Temple, located in Bagan, Myanmar is a Buddhist temple built in 1105 AD during the reign (1084-1113) of King Kyanzittha of the Pagan Dynasty. It is one of four surviving temples in Bagan. The temple layout is in a cruciform with several terraces leading to a small pagoda at the top covered by an umbrella known as hti, which is the name of the umbrella or top ornament found in almost all pagodas in Myanmar.
The Buddhist temple houses four standing Buddhas, each one facing the cardinal direction of East, North, West and South. The temple is said to be an architectural wonder in a fusion of Mon and adopted Indian style of architecture. The impressive temple has also been titled the “Westminster Abbey of Burma”. The temple has close similarity to the Pathothamya temple of the 10th-11th century, and is also known as “veritable museum of stones”.
The temple was damaged in the earthquake of 1975. However, it has been fully restored and is well maintained by frequent painting and whitewashing of the walls. On the occasion of 900th anniversary of its construction celebrated in 1990 the temple spires were gilded. It is a highly revered temple of Bagan.
The name Ananda of the temple is derived from the Venerable Ananda, Buddha’s first cousin, personal secretary, one of his many principal disciples and a devout attendant. It was once known as Ananta Temple, coming from the phrase ‘ananta pinya’ in Sanskrit, which translates as “endless wisdom”. However, the word ‘?€nanda’ in Pali, Sanskrit as well as other Indian languages mean “bliss”. It is a popular Buddhist and Hindu name. The attributes of the Buddha, his infinite wisdom “Anandapinnya in Burmese and Pali” is commemorated in its name ‘Ananda’.
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