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.
Located just south of Myinkaba Village in the Bagan Archeological Zone, Apeyadana Temple is named after Apeyadana, an 11th-century chief queen consort of King Kyansittha of the Pagan Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) and maternal grandmother of King Sithu I of Pagan.
Much about this temple remains unknown or obscured through myth. Precisely when it was built and by whom isn’t clear–archaeologists rely heavily on inscriptions at the temples at the time they were constructed to date them, and there are none here. Their best guess is that it probably dates to the late 11th or early 12th century.
Apeyadana Temple is best known for its frescoes inside that depict the Brahmanical gods and divinities of the Mahayana pantheon.1 Unfortunately, it’s quite dark inside and very hard to photograph in there. There is space inside that was meant for a number of statues, but most of those that survived have been moved to the Bagan Archaeological Museum a few miles up the road.2
Photos of Apeyadana Temple
What to Know Before You Go
Apeyadana Temple is located off the main north-south road just outside Myinkaba Village.
It’s dark inside–take a flashlight.
As with most Burmese names, it is transliterated into English in various ways. Other variations include Ape-ya-da-na, Ape-Yadana-Phaya, and Abeyadana.
- *Pictorial Guide to Pagan* (1963), p. 44. ↩
- Donald M. Stadtner, *Ancient Pagan: Buddhist Plain of Merit* (Bangkok: River Books, 2013) ↩