Ananda Temple

BAGAN, Myanmar (Burma) – Ananda Temple is one of the most famous, most visited, and most renovated temples in Bagan, and it has been an active place of worship for nearly a millennia.

Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar / Burma Travel Update

Since I was there, the situation in Myanmar/Burma has changed a lot. In February 2021, a military coup sparked widespread civil unrest and armed conflict.

The U.S. State Department currently advises: "Do not travel to Burma due to civil unrest and armed conflict." You can find their full travel advisory and security alerts here. And you can find the British Foreign Office's travel advice for Myanmar / Burma here.

Ananda Temple is one of Myanmar’s most revered sites. Built in the 11th-12th centuries, it has remained an active worship site since, nearly a millennia. With its striking gold hti, or umbrella, it stands out brightly against the landscape and red bricks.

It is laid out as a large crucifix (the shape, that is—it has nothing to do with Christianity) and is considered a masterpiece of the Mon architecture, celebrated especially for its balanced proportions. The tower stands 40 meters (131 feet) high, with the base spreading out in several cascading terraces. Each of the four symmetrical entrances leads to its own massive wooden Buddha statue in the heart of the building.

Among its highlights are over 1500 stone plaques telling the story of the Buddha.

Photos of Ananda Temple

Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel

What to Know Before You Go

Ananda is also one of the temples that has received the most attention in renovating. That’s either a good or bad thing, depending on your perspective. For visitors, it means that you’re greeted by a lavish and ornate sight. The detail of the stucco has been restored, and the interior decorations renovated to something approaching their former glory. But the way in which Ananda, along with many other temples in Bagan, have been restored is one of the elements that has given UNESCO pause in listing Bagan as a World Heritage Site.

Ananda is immediately adjacent to Old Bagan. If you’re staying in one of the hotels in Old Bagan it’s only a few hundred yards to the east, just off Anawrahta Rd.

License Photos of Bagan, Myanmar

If you’d like to download any of my photos from Bagan, Myanmar, you can license them directly from Alamy here. It includes most of the photos displayed on this page, as well as others. Pricing depends on the type of use, and there are licenses for various types of uses, including personal use and editorial publication.

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David Coleman / Photographer

David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my gear reviews and tips here. More »