Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Hidden Beauty of Bagan

During that day, we would visit many ancient wonders. Some of the most beautiful were off-limits to photography. For example, the 1,000 yr. old frescoes of the  underground Kyin Sidha meditation cave would have suffered ill effects from bright light of a flash. Other places that had beautiful frescoes included the Gubyikgyi temple (1086 AD) and the Ananda Phaya. Though small in size, the Ananda Phaya contained beautiful 13th century frescoes of daily life, rendered in natural pigments from indigo, tumeric, mud, and several others. A flashlight was provided so we could catch fleeting views of the detailed scenes. Other sites such as the Ananda Phaya seemed to focus on the idea that bigger is better. Inside the 51 meter high structure are four 9.5 meter standing Buddhas, one of which seems to change from sad to happy, depending on the viewer’s distance from it. 

Our guide also brought us to a monastery constructed from wood. Much of its most beautiful features required the viewer to look upward towards the ceiling and on the roof. Considering the destructive nature of termites in the region, I'm glad that this monastery was rather intact, enabling visitors to enjoy its richly carved ornamentation.

No comments: