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Tayok Pyi temple in 360°
Tayok Pyi, the name of the temple means "the king who fled from the Chinese", referring to its founder, the last king of Bagan.
1. About King Narathihapate
King Narathihapate (1256-1287) is known for his gluttonous appetite which required all his dinners to have 300 varieties of dishes. Besides that he is also remembered as the king who fled his kingdom to the south during a Mongolian invasion. He took refuge in Prome (Pyay), a kingdom south of Bagan ruled by his son, who however got Narathihapate poisoned. Meanwhile invading armies of Kublai Khan sacked Bagan and the city was never able to recover and achieve its former glory. Even this two-level temple remained incomplete, as a memento of a collapsing empire.
2. What to see
It's worth climbing up the terrace of Tayok Pyi temple to see some crumbling stucco decoration and to enjoy perfect panoramic views of Bagan ruins.
3. When to see
The temples of Bagan can be visited from sunrise till sunset. Please note that terraces of popular sunset spots might get closed.
5. Nearby monuments
Nann Myint means „The high palace” in Burmese. Opened in 2005, it is a 60m high viewing tower offering panoramic views of Bagan from its top 11-13 floors. Compared to other monuments of Bagan, only Thatbyinnyu temple exceeds its height. The tower contains a souvenir shop, meeting rooms, offices and restaurants. There is also an adjoining luxury hotel.
Thambulla Temple was builted in year 1255 by Queen Thambulla, wife of King Uzana. Although reign of king Uzana was short-lived (from 1250 to 1254), but he was the real power supporting the rule of his father, Kysawa (from 1234 to 1250). But instead of governing the empire, Uzana was much more interested in chasing elephants and drinking liquor. He even lost his own life in an accident during an elephant-hunt. The temple has a simple rectangular layout and its well-lit interior is decorated with faded Chinese-influenced murals.
Founder of Leimyethna (Laymyethna) temple was Anandathura, minister at the court of King Htilominlo (1211-1234), who, with his wife, built the temple in 1222. It is a single-storeyed structure following a rectangular layout with porches projecting on all four sides and the main entrance to east. Probably this is the reason for its name meaning „temple of four faces”. Alike similar late-style buildings, its interior is bright with faded murals depicting Jataka scenes (life stories of the Buddha).
Payathonzu stands for "three pagodas" as this monument is a complex of three interconnected shrines. It must have been built during the 13th century and remained unfinished due to the Mongol invasion. Founder of the building or exact construction date remains unknown. Some sources mistakenly define the three shrines to be devoted to the Hindu gods Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. However it is more likely that the three buildings represent Dhamma, Buddha, and Sangha, the triple gems of Theravada Buddhism. Interiors of two of the shrines are adorned with Chinese-influenced murals depicting Bodhisattva figures.
Pyathadar (Pyathatgyi) temple is a double-cave type monument built by King Kyaswa, who ruled from 1234 to 1250. It was perhaps the last great construction of the dynasty of Bagan. The most interesting part of the building is its exterior with the intersecting incomplete vaults.