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Why Nan Paya is special ?
Nan Paya, lying next to Manuha Temple, is an 11th century temple whose interiors were made of bricks and exteriors were built from sandstones. According to folklore, the temple was constructed by the grandson of Mon King Manuha, Naga Thaman. There are three other Buddhist edifices in Bagan which were also built of sandstones, which are Shwezigon, Kyauk Gu U Min, and Set Ku Taik which had already collapse in 1956.
The sculptures and other exteriors inside the temple are still in their original colors, suggesting that they are well preserved. These inner structures are believed to be in Hindu style, with the appearance of Brahmas in two stone reliefs and various sophisticated lotus decorations.
What to explore at Nan Paya?
The unique feature of Nan Paya Pagoda is the decorative artworks which adorn the four pillars of the interior chamber. On each of these four pillars are two stone reliefs of Brahma skillfully executed on stone and stone reliefs of ogres holding in their mouths bunches of intricate floral designs, done by master craftsmen. The Brahmas have three heads each, with obese pouch belley squatting on the lotus thrones. Lotus buds, blooms, stems, roots and leaves decorate the backdrops. The stone blocks were laid so neatly and tightly that the joints were concealed from view. The sculpturing works were executed on them. As these artworks are quite preserved in the interior of the chamber, well protected from sunlight and rain, traces of original colours on the reliefs of ogre figures and floral designs ale still visible.
In the centre of the chamber is a brick devotional throne but there is no image on it. But there must have been either a bronze or stone image on it. The Hindu style of its architecture, the presence of Brahma figures and the model of the brick devotional throne make some scholars think that Nan Paya Pagoda was originally a Hindu temple.
How to get to Nan Paya?
Nan Paya Pagoda is just 4 minutes driving from the Bagan Archaeological Museum along Bagan - Chauk Rd. Beside horse cart and taxi, visitors can hire e-bike or bicycle to reach the place.
- Built in the Mon style
- Looks boring until you get up close
- Good carvings in stone temple
- Stone carvings of Indian gods
- Tucked behind Manuha - worth looking for
New Bagan, Bagan, Myanmar
Tips for you
just next to the Manuha Paya, Nanpaya was much smaller than I though & it was under construction.
you may expect this place to be boring compared with the others, but once you get close up you can see beautiful carvings and unique windows.
lot of intricate stone carvings, and this has been once Manuha's residence, very interesting place to visit and take pictures too
This is the only temple in Bagan with carvings of Hindu gods. It is also the only temple that I know where Shiva and Brahma are in the same temple. The Shiva Lingam is not there anymore (due to past earthquakes), but the stone carvings of Buddha remain.The stone carvings are stunning.