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Shwesandaw pagoda in 360°
King Anawrahta was a famous king of Bagan (1044-1077) who turned a small principality in Upper Burma into the first Burmese Empire. His troops ventured into Lower Burma and occupied the Mon kingdom of Thaton by 1057. Shwesandaw paya was erected just after his victory and became the center of his newly empowered kingdom.
1. What to see
The pagoda consists of five square terraces topped by a bell-shaped stupa that bears a Buddha hair relic brought from Thaton. This was the first monument in Bagan to feature outer stairways leading from the square bottom terraces to the round base of the stupa itself.
2. 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.
4. Nearby monuments
Dhammayangyi is the largest of all temples of Bagan, built by king King Narathu, who ascended to the throne by killing his own father. His reign only lasted for three years because he was also murdered and thus the temple was never completed. Much of the interior - including passageways and three out of the four Buddha-shrines – has been filled with brick rubble centuries ago and the upper levels of the pyramid are also off limits to visitors.
Myazedi pagoda is said to have been built by Anawrahta, who turned Bagan, a small principality in Upper Burma into the first Burmese Empire. According to an unreliable legend, Kunhsaw Kyaunghpyu usurped Nyaung-u Sawrahan, a previous king of Bagan and married Nyuang-u's three queens. One of the queens gave birth to Sokkate, whose biological father was Nyaung-u. When Sokkate grew up, he forced Kunhsaw to resign and become a monk. Anawrahta, son of Kunhsaw took revenge for his father, and mudered his predecessor, Sokkate. In order to atone for his crime of killing Sokkate, he decided to build this temple. Style of the pagoda lacks any Mon-influence indicating that it was built prior to the military campaigns against the Mon kingdom of Thaton.