August 15, 2008

Golden Dome of Ananda Pahto, Bagan, Myanmar

Location: Ananda Pahto, Bagan, Myanmar (21° 10′ 0″ N, 94° 53′ 0″ E)
Date: 3 December 2000; 2.15pm:
Canon EOS 500N (analogue) on slides and scanned

Ananda Pahto is the first of the great temples in Bagan. It is one of the largest and by most acclaim, the most beautiful. According to the traditional story, it was built by a Myanmese King who was inspired by stories of their life in the legendary Nanadamula cave in the Himalayas, told by eight visiting Indian monks. The Ananda Pahto was built to recreate a vision of this cave. The temple then inspired the meritorious temple-building of later rulers.

Bagan should have been designated a UNESCO Heritage Site by virtue of its cultural, architectural and religious significance. However the military junta had restored the ancient temples and stupas in a haphazard manner, ignoring original architectural styles and using modern materials that bear no resemblance to the original designs. On top of that a paved highway, golf course and a tall watchtower was built nearby that guarantee its disqualification a UNESCO site.

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