Htilominlo Temple

BAGAN, Myanmar (Burma) — Htilominlo Temple is a large, two-story, 12th-century temple in the northern part of the Bagan plain best known for its ornate stucco decoration.

Gold Statue of Gautama Buddha in Htilominlo Temple in Nyaung-U, 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.

Htilominlo Temple is a large, two-story temple in the northern part of the Bagan plain. It dates to the 12th to 13th centuries and is best known for its ornate stucco decoration, especially the patterns on the ceilings of the interior arches.

The temple gets its name from umbrellas, one of the core symbols of Buddhism, denoting protection. Legend has it that the king stood a white umbrella in the middle of his five sons and declared that whichever the umbrella tilted toward was the one deserving to be his successor. It fell towards his youngest son, Zeyatheinhka, who later had Htilominlo built in tribute.1

Like many of the larger temples, its decorations were added subsequently over the centuries. Htilominlo Temple features a number of depictions of the 28 Buddhas, some of them in striking red ink, that date from between the 14th and 18th centuries.

Photos of Htilominlo Temple

Htilominlo Temple in Nyaung-U, Myanmar (Burma)
A combination of the original brickwork and some of the restored detail work. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Painting of Gautama Buddha in Htilominlo Temple in Nyaung-U, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Gold Statue of Gautama Buddha in Htilominlo Temple in Nyaung-U, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Ceiling of Htilominlo Temple in Nyaung-U, Myanmar (Burma)
Decorated tiles lining the interior arched ceiling. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Htilominlo Temple in Nyaung-U, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Htilominlo Temple in Nyaung-U, Myanmar (Burma)
The statue is a modern recreation. Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Gold Statue of Gautama Buddha in Htilominlo Temple in Nyaung-U, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Htilominlo Temple in Nyaung-U, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel
Gold Statue of Gautama Buddha in Htilominlo Temple in Nyaung-U, Myanmar (Burma)
Photo by David Coleman / Have Camera Will Travel

What To Know Before You Go

Htilominlo Temple is to the northeast of Old Bagan village, on the northern edge of most of the temples on the plain.

Map

More to Explore

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  1. David M. Stadtner, Ancient Pagan: Buddhist Plain of Merit (Bangkok: River Books, 2013) p.208 []
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 »