Monday, 19 October 2009

Bago (Pegu): The Majestic Kyaik Pun Paya

Bago is the nearest Disneyland of old temples. What's so nice about this place is that a lot of the temples are located very near each other. Within a radius of less than one kilometre, you'll find about seven or eight temples of different sorts! There are the ones with sitting Buddhas, or reclining Buddhas, open roof ones, ones with large halls and so forth and they are all so old, you'd so easily find yourself transcend into historical world. Though they are not as ancient as those in Siem Reap, they still radiate a sort of paradisiacal mystery.

The Kyaik Pun Paya consists of four 30m high buddhas sitting back to back on each other. As we turned into the junction, we could see its massive structure from the end of the narrow road which leads to it. With the area surrounded by vegetation, the road looked like a long, grey carpet welcoming us to visit these graceful giants.

We met a young girl and perhaps, like all visitors, we aroused her curiousity. She asked where we were from and seemed to enjoy learning about our country. According to her, not many tourists come to Bago. She followed us as we walked around the buddhas, offering explanations about the buddhas as well as the animal statues that surround the towering ones. Now that I recall, the funny thing is she referred these buddhas as females. As for the animal statues, these are of burmese zodiac animal signs based on the day you are born, which I thought was interesting. I didn't know which day I was borned! I know the date (obviously!) but, we don't use days, which the Myanmarese do. Thanks to this website on burmese zodiac animal signs, I now know I was borned on a Thursday, and the website gives a little detail on the topic as well!

The temple was undergoing maintenance work, evident by the scaffolding that surrounded one particular buddha statue. Most buddha statues have always got something to mesmerise or impress you. Like these ones here, its their fingernails! Symmetrically-cut stained glass were carefully placed over the tip of their fingers. They looked so pretty despite the weathered paintwork.

Legends have it that these Buddha statues are associated with four Mon girls, whom if married would cause the statues to fall.

Majestic and graceful buddha statues at the end of the grey carpet

Back to back, the four sat

The folding robes lined with silvery seams of stained glass

Statue of the dragon animal sign

One of the buddha statue undergoing maintenance work

Pretty fingernails

Golden stupas lining up along the stairs that lead to the temple

Monk walking beside a banyan tree

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