Pyathadar Temple

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Good Time To Visit:   The Whole Year
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Pyathadar Temple, Pyathatgyi Temple
First half of the 13th century
Minnanthu area, About 3 kilometers South East of old Bagan
Late period, “Double cave” temple
Sulamani Temple

Pyathadar Temple: One of the last of the large temples built in Bagan

      The Pyathadar is a very large, impressive brick temple located South East of old Bagan. The massive structure, also known as the Pyathatgyi is one of the few remaining “double cave” monasteries. Most of these temples were built of wood and have long gone. The Pyathadar was built in the first half of the 13th century by King Kyaswa, a devout Buddhist. It is one of the last of the large temples built in Bagan, as in the 13th century land was becoming scarce in the Bagan empire.
      The late period temple shows the progression in architectural skills of the Bagan builders in the use of large vaulted rooms and broad corridors. The Pyathadar enshrines several large sitting and standing images of the Buddha in various postures. A project to restore the Pyathadar temple was completed in 1998.

Structures of the Pyathadar

      The Pyathadar is a symmetrical structure but for the Western entrance porch which protrudes out from the building. The massive porch is flanked by two smaller entrances on either side.
      At the center of the East wall is another huge vaulted entry porch. The central entrance is flanked by two smaller vaulted entrances. Inside the structure seated on a pedestal is a large Burmese style image of the Buddha in the “Calling the Earth to witness” posture, which is visible from the outside. Inner passageways lead around the temple’s entire structure. Niches in the walls enshrine images of the Buddha.

The temple’s terraces

      A staircase leads to the large terrace on top of the Pyathadar. At its center is a smaller structure shaped like a temple. The symmetrical structure has en entrance hall on each of its sides, that protrude out from the structure. On top is a sikhara, similar to that of the Ananda pagoda. The sikhara is topped with a golden multi tiered ornamental spire, called hti.
      From the terraces visitors have good views of the surrounding Bagan plains and its countless temples, including the Sulamani and the Dhammayangyi. The Pyathadar is a popular place to watch the sunset. Candles on the stairways illuminate the pitch dark way to the temple’s terrace.