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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2020
Headline for 5 Must See Pagodas in Myanmar – A Look at Ancient Buddhist Architecture
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Must See Pagodas in Myanmar – A Look at Ancient Buddhist Architecture

Myanmar is a country that is bursting with culture and history. One of the greatest examples of this is the litany of impressive pagodas scattered throughout the country. Out of these, here are the 5 that you absolutely need to visit and see.


Shwedagon Pagoda

The Shwedagon Pagoda is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful religious structures you'll see in all of South East Asia, let alone Myanmar. It is a spectacular example of the intricacy and craftsmanship that went into ancient Buddhist architecture. Considered to be a national icon and a structure of great significance to the Buddhist community, the Shwedagon Pagoda should be your first stop when exploring the country. What's more, visiting the pagoda is relatively easy if you're staying at a prominent hotel Yangon has to offer – for example, the Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake Yangon.


Sule Pagoda

The Sule Pagoda is an ancient Burmese pagoda found in the heart of Yangon and is considered to be a part of Myanmar's national and political identity. At first glance, this pagoda may seem like a scaled-down version of the Shwedagon Pagoda, but look a little closer and you'll see its own inimitable beauty. In fact, historical evidence suggests that Sule might actually be one of the oldest pagodas found in Myanmar! Due to its location in the city centre, the pagoda has been the venue for innumerable politically and culturally significant events over the past decades.


Shwesandaw Pagoda

The Bagan Plains are a treasure trove of ancient historical sites and artefacts and was even recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is here that you'll find one of the most beautiful pagodas in all of Myanmar – the Shwesandaw Pagoda. This stark white construction has towered over the landscape for almost a thousand years and has drawn in visitors from all across the globe.


Ananda Temple

Intricately designed and radiating exquisite beauty, the Ananda Temple sits near the top of Mayanmar's long list of stunning pagodas. The Burmese people have taken to calling this structure the "Westminster of Burma" as an ode to the famous Westminster Abbey. And indeed, once you take a closer look at the architecture and craftsmanship of this pagoda, you'll realise that it is more than deserving of this moniker.


Dhammayangyi Pagoda

This is the largest pagoda you'll find in the Bagan region and just like all the others mentioned here, its beauty and elegance are clearly visible for all those who make the visit. That being said, unlike all the other pagodas mentioned here, the Dhammayangyi has a dark side. Now, the pagoda this pagoda has a square base and six terraces stacked on top – all in all, it makes for a magnificent and imposing sight. It is believed that all this grandeur was an attempt by King Narathu to atone for his sin, which was all quite grave indeed. During his ascent to the throne, the young killed had killed his own father and brother, and it is said that the act haunted him ever since.

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