The pagodas of Bagan

The pagodas of Bagan

By Jay Kannaiyan

An adventurer turned software engineer.

Jay Kannaiyan

Myanmar continues to impress. From Mandalay we rode along the Ayerawaddy River to Bagan, an amazing site of thousands of pagados and temples built almost a millenia ago. Noel and I are enjoying how friendly and welcoming the locals are. On the way to Bagan, I randomly stopped under some shady trees and there happened to be a farmer’s house there where we had a cup of green tea and a sticky rice snack. Visitors are always welcome in Myanmar and it’s wonderful to experience it.

After 10 days on the road from Delhi, we finally took a day off to let our bones and the bikes’ suspensions rest. It was also a wash day and we cleaned all our gear, shedding a kg or two in dirt.

We have a guide for our trip along with a government escort as we are doing something out of the norm in crossing this once-restricted country on our own vehicles. We are supposed to follow the pilot car but they are really nice and let us ride ahead at times. Our guide, Michael, was once a philosophy graduate and now wants foreigners to take away a great impression of his country.

Bagan is the most touristy site in the country and rightly so with its stunning wealth of pagodas and temples. Some are grand and covered in gold leaf and others are simple with exposed brick. All of them have an image of the Buddha inside and people still pray here. At the end of the day, we climbed up to watch the sun do its magic across the Plains of Bagan. The magnitude of nature never ceases to amaze us, moreso when you are standing atop a thousand year old pagoda with a magnificent sun setting in the west and the full moon rising in the east silhouetting hundreds of pagodas.

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About the author

Jay Kannaiyan

An adventurer turned software engineer.

Jay Kannaiyan