Shwesandaw Pagoda – A Most Important Stupa in Bagan
The Shwesandaw pagoda is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Myanmar. The Shwesandaw pagoda is a stupa which is 328 ft high. The temple is only a few years younger than Shwedadong in Yangon. It was constructed in 1057 by King Anawrahta. One corner of this complex is to worship King Bayinaung (also known as Bayint Nyaung), who defeated the rebels. What makes this temple unique is the existence of two htis at the top of the temple. Near the southern entrance of the temple is a 100-year-old Mandalay-style bronze Buddha statue. The Buddha’s eyes look straight ahead. Along with the western side of the stupa are some of the statues.
Shwesantaw Temple looks like an Egyptian pyramid, with four sides, five floors and a stupa (bell tower) on the top. Legend has it that the temple was built by King Anawrahta in 1057 to preserve the relics as one of the eight hairs of Buddha Shakyamuni brought back from India in early AD. Shwesandaw’s special feature is four brick stairs on four sides, each with five floors.
The Shwesantaw Temple is notorious for tourists not only because of the architectural masterpiece, but also because it is the most beautiful place to sit and watch the sunset and dawn. The Shwesandaw pagoda is a popular spot for admiring sunrise in Bagan because it has the ideal height for visitors to experience the first dawn of presence among various temples and pagodas in Bagan. Let your soul blended with the ancient tower in the cold air under the early mist, watching the Bagan dawn, people will see an antique atmosphere like a fairy tale.
However, now if you want to travel to the the Shwesantaw Temple, you should know that people have closed down the stairs to ensure that this temple is in a good condition.
The Shinbinthalyaung temple is not far from the Shwesantaw Temple. The Shinbinthalyaung temple has entrances and windows retaining Buddha image.