Sulamani Pahto


This temple with five doorways is known as the Crowning Jewel and was constructed around 1181 by Narapatisithu. It is one of Bagan’s most attractive temples, with lush grounds (and ample vendors) behind the surrounding walls. It’s a prime example of later, more-sophisticated temple styles, with better internal lighting. Sulamani suffered significant damage during the 2016 earthquake.

Combining the early period’s horizontal planes with the vertical lines of the middle period, the receding terraces create a pyramid effect. The stairways to the top are closed.

The brickwork throughout is considered some of the best in Bagan. The gilded sikhara is a reconstruction; the original was destroyed in the 1975 earthquake. The interior face of the wall was once lined with 100 monastic cells, a feature unique among Bagan’s ancient monasteries.

There’s much to see inside. Carved stucco on mouldings, pediments and pilasters represent some of Bagan’s finest ornamental work and is in fairly good condition. Glazed plaques around the base and terraces are also still visible, as are many big and small murals.

Buddha images face the four directions from the ground floor; the image at the eastern entrance sits in a recess built into the wall. The interior passage around the base is painted with quite big frescoes from the Konbaung period, and there are traces of earlier frescoes.

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