Shwesandaw Pagoda, Bagan

  • Location: In the Northeast of Bagan, Myanmar
  • Status: A Buddhist pagoda
  • Built by: King Anawrahta
  • Built: In 1057
  • Attractions: Containing a series of five terraces, topped with a cylindrical stupa terra cotta tiles depicting scenes from the Jataka


The Shwesandaw Pagoda in Bagan is one of the four Buddhist constructions in Burma bearing the same name, and the three other ones are at Taungoo, Pyay, and Twante respectively. In Burmese language, ‘shwesandaw’ means ‘golden hair relics’, which suggests that these pagodas enshrine Buddha’s sacred hairs.

Among Bagan’s temples, Shwesandaw Pagoda is the second highest one. In terms of architecture, the pagoda includes five terraces leading to a tubular stupa topped by an umbrella-shape ornament called hti. The four-sided structure was conducted under the time of King Anawrahta in 1057. Till 1957, it used to be tiled with fine brick depicting Jakata scenes. Later on, the upper half of the pagoda was covered by plaster.

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