Beautiful Buddhas in Bagan, Myanmar

Serene Buddha of Myanmar

This post is from 2012, just before President Obama traveled to Myanmar.

The Buddhists of Myanmar revere the ancient, sacred statues of Buddha found throughout Burma (aka Myanmar). A place to view towering and elegant statues of Buddha is in Bagan, Myanmar. Bagan is a 'must see' in Myanmar. It is not yet a UNESCO world heritage site....but hopefully one day it will be.

We traveled on a slow tourist boat  up the Irrawady river from Mandalay to Bagan. The trip was a full day. We boarded in Mandalay at dawn and arrived in Bagan after dark. We had made arrangements before-hand to be picked up at the landing site and taken to our hotel. This you must do in Myanmar. 

Many of the stunning, towering Buddhas of Bagan are covered in gold leaf. These are huge sculptures of Buddha, that have survived for hundreds of years in the protective stupas and temples of Bagan. 

The temples, monasteries, and pagodas of Bagan were constructed between the 11th and 13th centuries, when the ancient city was the capital of the region of Pagan, later to be known as Myanmar or Burma. 

Of the 10,000 original structures, just over 2000 remain.  This amazing sight is particularly gorgeous at dawn or sunset.

Placing gold leaf  on Buddha

“Know from the rivers in clefts and crevices: those in small channels flow noisily, the great flow silent. Whatever’s not full makes noise. Whatever is full is quiet.”
The Buddha

“A further sign of health is that we don't become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it's time to stop struggling and look directly at what's threatening us. ” 
― Pema ChödrönThe Places that Scare You

Mudra - meaningful hand gestures
“nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know” 
― Pema Chödrön

One of four towering buddhas, facing four different directions
“When we protect ourselves so we won't feel pain, that protection becomes like armor, like armor that imprisons the softness of of the heart.” 
― Pema ChödrönWhen Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

The Buddha statues of Bagan are magnificent. They tower, in their original halls of worship, so majestic and powerful, yet so gentle and kind. They loom large, but each one provides, through expression and mudra (hand gestures) teachings of the Buddha.

Bagan, Myanmar Sunrise.

Buddhist Monks in Bagan, Myanmar
See more beautiful Buddhas from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England.

View beautiful Buddhas from Singapore