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The Sulamani Temple is a Buddhist temple located in the village of Minnanthu (southwest of Bagan) in Burma. The temple is one of the most-frequently visited in Bagan. It was built in 1183 by King Narapatisithu and is similar to the Thatbyinnyu Temple in design. The Sulamani Temple also shows influence from the Dhammayangyi Temple, and was the model for the Htilominlo Temple. Sulamani Temple was restored after the 1975 earthquake, and utilises brick and stone, with frescoes in the interior of the temple. It was rebuilt in 1994. There are a lot of things to do at Sulamani Guphaya Temple.
A Beautiful Tour at the Elegant and Mystical Sulamani Guphaya Temple
The Sulamani is a two storey structure with a square layout. The large first floor is topped with three receding terraces. The upper floor which is much smaller is topped with another four receding terraces. The corners of both lower and upper terraces contain smaller spires. The top of the Sulamani comprises of a sikhara, a tower structure originating from North India. Unlike the one of the Ananda temple, the sikhara is not gilded. On top of that is the hti, a spire ornament shaped like an umbrella. The temple has entrance porches on all four sides. The Eastern porch which is the main entrance protrudes further out from the structure than the others. Apart from this, the structure is symmetrical.
The Sulamani's base and terraces contain beautiful glazed terracotta plaques with depictions of Jataka tales, the stories about the previous lives of the Buddha. It was customary for the most important and largest temples in Bagan to have a set of plaques with Jataka tales, of which there are 547 in total, in order to educate the people about Buddhism. The ground floor contains Buddha images on each of its four sides. The corridor surrounding the lower cube contains frescoes and murals from various eras. They depict scenes from the life of the Buddha as well as various mythological animals like Naga snakes and Makara sea creatures. Take the Sulamani Guphaya Tour to enjoy the beauty of this temple.
Another thing to do at Sulamani Guphaya Temple is adoring the frescoes and the wall painting (mural). The interior was once painted with fine frescoes but only traces can be seen today. Important features of the Sulamani include its fine brickwork and use of stone in both load-bearing areas as well as on vulnerable external corner elements. The red brick temple is step pyramidal on a square base and is oriented to the east. The numerous original unique glazed roundels and panels along the plinth and terrace moldings add joy and exuberance to the exterior, while the rich frescoes on the stuccoed interior ambulatory (from the 12th to 19th centuries)—though damaged—with their lively depiction of both the sublime and the grotesque reflect a constant interplay of the physical and mythical light and darkness. The first story ambulatory is lit well enough from its doorways and windows to permit available light photographs of the frescoes. A wall with elaborate entries in the four cardinal directions surrounds the complex.
How to Get Tickets?
Sulamani Guphaya Temple Tour is free to visitors but you have to pay 20 USD entrance fee because the temple is included in the Bagan Archaeological Zone.
How To Get Around?
The best way to do things at Sulamani Guphaya Tour is by taking your time and walking slowly, enjoying the peace inside and the breezes. Cool your feet on the smooth stones which have seen millions of feet. You also can rent an electric scooter ithat costs US$3.00 per day with a free laundry load.
What Should I Wear?
To do Sulamani Guphaya Temple tour, you should wear proper and modest clothes to respect the local culture and custom. For axample, no short/skirt above the knees and no open shoulder. You also have to take off your footwear when you enter the temple.
Best Time to Visit
Most people prefer to do things at Sulamani Guphaya Temple in February although there are sometimes groups who are travelling on a tour. However, most of the temples they are visiting are big enough that you wouldn't really notice them. Certainly if you are going as an independent traveller, some other tips to avoid the crowd is, do not go to the temple during sunrise or sunset because there are many tourists also waiting for that moment. The site itself opens from 8.00 am to 08.00 pm.
Will I Need a Guide?
Yes. With so many temples to see in Bagan it can be an advantage to use someone with local knowledge of the area. Local guides know better on their region and sites than books or what we can advise. If you like to hear the local history as well as a lot of dates and names of those who built these great pagodas and stupas, then it would be very worth it to hire a guide. However, it also does not matter if you want to have Sulamani Guphaya Tour independently without any guides to enjoy the beauty of old bagan temples.
How To Get There?
The Sulamani Temple is easy to find with you e-bike. You can rent these at several places in Nyaung U or New Bagan. Taxi and horse cart is also available to take you there.
You will not be allowed to wear shoes in all Temples and places of worship in Bagan and bring a torch to be able to see the frescoes as most of them are in the dark