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The Shwesandaw pagoda is a Buddhist pagoda located in Bagan, Burma. It is one of the taller pagodas in Bagan, an imposing structure visible from far away rising from the plains of Bagan with its height of 328 feet. The pagoda contains a series of five terraces, topped with a cylindrical stupa, which has a bejewelled umbrella (hti). The pagoda was built by King Anawrahta in 1057, and once contained terra cotta tiles depicting scenes from the Jataka. Enshrined within the pagoda are sacred hairs of Gautama Buddha, which were obtained from Thaton. Before when people were allowed to climb up the terrace of the pagoda, it was a great spot to view the sunset of Bagan. But nowadays. to keep the ancient monuments in good shape. the stairways have been closed down.
Best Experience to enjoy Bagan Panoramic View through Shwesandaw Pagoda
The pagoda's bell rises from two octagonal bases which top the five square terraces. This was the first monument in Bagan to feature stairways leading from the square bottom terraces to the round base of the pagoda itself. This pagoda supposedly enshrines a Buddha hair relic brought back from Thaton.
There are image housing at four sides. In them are hard stone images of Buddha in the posture of Jhana mudra. the intense concentration of mind posture. On the palms and soles of the images were incised eight petal lotus flowers. Below these images are stone slabs with grooves to let water go out. It is therefore assumed that lustral water was poured on these images.
The hti which was toppled by the earthquake can still be seen lying on the far side of the pagoda compound. A new one was fitted soon after tie quake. The Shwe Sandaw Pagoda was renovated as needed by the trustees of the Paogda with the help of the doners. So it now look likes a modern structure. During renovation 50 bronze statues of Buddha were discovered near Shwe Sandaw forest monk's monastery. These statues are exhibited at Archeological Museum. Nine bronze Buddha statues discovered after the 1975 earth-quake took place were moved to the Bagan Archeological Museum.
How to Get Tickets?
Shwesandaw Pagoda is included in Bagan Archaelogical Zone. You should purchase Shwesandaw Pagoda tickets and passes for 25,000 kyat which is about US$20 for the archeological ticket (valid for 5 days). Bagan Tourism Zone Fee Check Point is also there so if have not bought Zone Fee Ticket you should pay there to get the tickets and passes.
How To Get Around?
The best way to travel around the pagodas and enjoy Shwesandaw Pagoda Tour is with a horse cart driven by locals or rent cars or bycycles.
What Should I Wear?
To do Shwesandaw Pagoda tour, you should dress modestly and conservativaly to respect the local culture and custom. For axample, female visitors should cover their knees and shoulder. You also have to take off your footwear when you enter the temple.
Best Time to Visit
For sunrise, around 5:30 is the best time and if you're a little bit late you can't get a nice spot for awesome views. For sunset, around 17:00 is the best. Most of the tourists will be there during sunrise and sunset, so go a bit earlier for a good spot.
Will I Need a Guide?
Yes. Before you have Shwesandaw Pagoda tour, you can hire a local guide at the entrance door. By having a tour guide with you, you will be able to learn and understand more about the pagoda and its history.
How To Get There?
To go to Shwesandaw Pagoda, it is easy to take taxi on your arrival at BaganShwe Pyi Highway Bus Station. It's about 10 Km distance & it takes 20 minutes.
In case that it is allowed to climb up the pagoda, be careful that steps to climb to the top are very narrow and steep, so climbing is hard for young children and older travelers. But it's very worth the effort, as the 360 degree views are just breathtaking, with stupas, pagodas and temples strewn across Bagan`s plains for as far as the eye can see. This place gives you a good idea of how vast this area is and how many wonderful sights there are.