Things to Know about Shwesandaw Pagoda
The Shwesandaw Pagoda is located in the northeastern part of Old Bagan. It was King Anawrahta who had built this pagoda after he conquered Tahton in the year 1057. The temple came to be alternately known as Mahapeine or Ganesh as the images of this Hindu God were erected at the corners of the five consecutive terraces. The circular structure graced the newly acquired kingdom of King Anawrahta.
Description of the Pagoda
The structure is an inimitable reminder of the rich Burmese craftsmanship with the quintessential touch of detailing and embellishments.
One of the unmistakable parts of this structure is the bell, placed blithely on top of the five squared terraces after rising from the octagonal base. These terraces were once wrought with terracotta plaques and showcased the Jalaka scenes. However, the sculptures today have been buried under heavy duty renovations.
Earlier, visitors were allowed to climb up the staircases of the temple that served as a wonderful spot to behold the sunset but now they are closed.
One of the most interesting facts about this temple is that it was the first structure in Bagan to have stairways rising from the square based terraces to the round base of the pagoda. The hti had tumbled when a devastating earthquake hit the pagoda. It now lies on one of the farthest points of the compound. This perhaps will immediately strike a discordant (read as a reminder of the earthquake) note for visiting tourists, who otherwise shall remain overwhelmed by the sheer grandeur of the monument. A new hti has replaced the older one after the quake.