Bagaya Monastery, often called "Teak Temple", is the oldest architecture in Mandalay. It is a famous spot that attracts tourists from around the world every year.
On the trip to the vibrant city of Mandalay, it would be a mistake to leave the capital of Mandalay without visiting Inwa, an ancient village located at the confluence of the Ayeyarwaddy and Myitnge River.
The temple was built in 1770 and did not suffer from any damages during war- time. Bagaya has not been reconstructed up to now, which makes it a very special and ancient masterpiece. Because it is used to be the place where Myanmar's royal family was educated, the entire building is covered by exquisite and sophisticated carvings from doors, windows to the roof, sparkling like a Golden palace. Today, it has been used as a school for local monks to cultivate knowledge. If you're lucky, you can also witness elementary students schooling here seriously.
The wooden decorated door outside Bagaya Monastery
Constructed completely of 267 teak trees, with 18 meters high, there are so much more of this unique Temple waiting for tourists to discover. There are many wooden roof buildings and an ancient Pali library, along with the museum of 19th century Buddha statues to explore. Nearby, there are a number of special drying plants, an attractive foundry, where giant statues are sculpted, and the east is the forgotten ruins of two old palace buildings. Inside, the main hall tends to be a little dark based primarily on lighting from the open windows, which makes tourists feel like they are discovering an abandoned ship.
The wooden roof building in Bagaya Monastery
There is a small golden Bhuddha statue on a high podium inside surrounded by a complex carved Bannister. Surrounded by a rice paddy field, Bagaya Monastery stands still, giving tourists the most scenic photos ever. From Bagaya, tourists can also stop by other sacred spots such as Yedanasini Pagoda, Bagaya Kyaung, Nan Myint Tower or the Mahar Aung Mye Bon San. A village tour of Inwa is worth exploring for its splendid history and fantastic impact on the life of the Myanmars.
The scenic palm trees around the medieval stupas of Bagaya Monastery
The dry season is the peak tourist season and is also a wonderful time to visit Mandalay in general and Bagaya Temple in particular. The season starts from November to February, bringing some cool air and a very pleasant feeling while visiting Bagaya. Just like any other temples, appropriate clothing is required.
Tourists usually take horse cart rides to get to the Monastery, suitable for some romance and sightseeing along the route. There are quite a lot of hotels near Bagaya with a very affordable price. Village tour is also available upon request at most hotels. Coming to Bagaya Monastery, visitors will have the chance to feel the ancient culture through the lifestyle of local people here.