One of the best known temples in Bagan, and still in use, is Ananda Pahto. It was built between 1090 and 1105. In 1990 in recognition of its 900th anniversary the temple spires were gilded. The exterior of the temple is white washed from time to time.
The base of the terraces are decorated with 554 glazed tiles showing Jataka scenes.
Many of Bagan’s temples are being restored or rebuilt. After an earthquake in the 1970’s half of Bagan’s temples were destroyed with over 2,000 now remaining. Restoration efforts have been on an unprecedented scale but also controversial. One expert describes many sites as ‘speculatively rebuilt’.
The temple was build in the shape of a greek cross shape with Buddha statues facing north, south, east and west.
Still a working temple, with worshippers and visitors intermingling.
Two of the Buddha statues are original. They are designed to make eye contact with the worshipper as he or she stares up from the base of the idol.