Image copyrights belong to authors
Why Pyathada Paya is special ?
Pyathada Paya, built during the reign of King Kyaswa (r. 1234–1250). Kyaswa eschewed the use of forced labor to build his temples, and perhaps as a result, is rather small compared to many of the monuments of his predecessors. Dating from the 13th century, during the latter period of temple building at Bagan, this huge, impressive pagoda is a superb sunset-viewing spot, with a giant open terrace (Bagan’s largest) atop the steps, and another small deck further up. The tour groups have discovered it so you’re unlikely to have the place to yourself. It is about half a mile southeast of Sulamani, reached by dirt roads that sometimes get obscured in goat fields.
What to explore at Pyathada Paya?
Pyathada Pagoda (also spelled Pyathadar, Pyathatgyi, or Pyatthada) is a popular viewing spot – especially at sunset – because its open terrace and upper deck allows a 360° panorama over the plains. Pyathada’s interior arches are still partly open to view. The architects used an inner relieving arch and a second upper arch to support the huge chambers, illustrating the point that temple styles changed in Bagan because the builders improved at arch construction. Note how the top stupa isn’t centred on the top platform.
- Great Pagoda for that sunset photo
- Great views over the expanse of temples
- A Temple Full of History
- Beautiful surrounding scenery
- An overlooked pagoda
Nyaung-U Myanmar (Burma)
Tips for you
The pagoda is on the same road as Sulamani if you take the road that keeps going southeast at the fork in front of Sulamani. Be careful if you are planning to get there by bicycle or e-bike as the road past Sulamani gets sandy and is not hard-packed like most of the other roads. It might be better to travel by horse cart from Sulamani or walk like we did. I think the walk took around 45 mins to an hour. Regardless, the trip to Pyathada was worth it since it is quiet, remote, and is not overrun with tourism (whether it be the stalls or the tourists). It is a great place to take those sunrise/sunset photos as it is quite tall and resides in the southeast corner of the Bagan Archeological zone. By looking northwest, you are able to capture all of the major temples in one shot that you would miss in any other place (unless you go to the Bagan Viewing Tower).