Shortly before Tharaba Gate, you reach the white-and-gold Ananda Pahto, one of the most popular temples in Bagan (with both tourists and hawkers). Built at the end of the eleventh century in the shape of a cross, with all arms the same length and a square chamber at the centre, it has been described as the crowning achievement of early-period Bagan architecture. A 9.5m teak standing Buddha faces out on each side, representing the four Buddhas who have so far achieved enlightenment in the current era (of which Gautama Buddha was the fourth – the world awaits a fifth, future Buddha). Only the northern and southern statues are original.

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Myanmar (Burma) features

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