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Dhammayangyi Temple, Bagan

4.5
#6 of 52 in Sightseeing in Bagan
Religious Site Tourist Spot
Discover the dark history of Dhammayangyi Temple, dating back to the 12th century. Built by a king who killed his own brother and father to get the throne, the temple has a sinister reputation and the locals often avoid it. Nonetheless, the temple--the largest in the country--affords scenic views if you climb to its upper floors. Walk the long hallways and admire the vast space of the temple, noting the two statues of Gautama and Maitreya. The high ceiling makes the building a perfect nesting spot for bats. Bring a face mask as the place isn't cleaned regularly. Using our world travel planner, Bagan attractions like Dhammayangyi Temple can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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336 reviews
  • We cycled around the temples for the day and stopped here as it's the largest temple. It smells of bats/ birds droppings inside and it's huge. A bit of renovation going on. So interesting, long corrid...  more »
  • It is huge and linked to dark legends of patricide and bad karma. It's recognizable, than the other, not only the size but also by steep terraces 6 (instead of 3) that they do indeed resemble a ziggurat. Legend has it that the King had placed the bricks so so tight that there passed a needle between the one and the other and it got cut off your hands at workers who did not respect this provision. One of the many legends that lurk here ...
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  • This was the temple more complicated to get into Bagan, because we had rented an electric bike and the way there was quite slippery and muddy. After a few tumbles, we finally arrived and we saw this beautiful temple.
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Where to stay in Bagan

Bagan accommodations try their best to fit in with the atmosphere of spirituality and mystery that clings to the temple town. As such, you won't find any high-rise hotels here. Instead, a number of squat wooden lodges, converted traditional houses, and new boutique resorts (all pretty low to the ground) provide the main options for those staying in town. Among them, you'll find some that offer a slightly better range of facilities--including well-maintained pools and restaurants--and others that offer basic dormitory accommodation.
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