Sulamani Temple - Asia Travel & Leisure

Asia Travel & Leisure

Sulamani Temple

The Sulamani Temple is one of the most-frequently visited in Bagan. It was built in 1183, under the reign of King Narapatisithu, a very prosperous time in Bagan. Sulamani Temple was restored after the 1975 earthquake, and utilises brick and stone, with frescoes in the interior of the temple. It was rebuilt in 1994.

Sulamani means 'Crowning Jewel' or 'Small Ruby’. According to an inscribed stone in the North porch of the temple, King Narapatisithu found a small ruby at the spot where the Sulamani temple was later built, hence the name of the temple, which means small ruby.

The architectural style is much similar to the Htilominlo temple, which was built a few decades later. The Sulamani has two stories with a square base. Both floors are topped with receding terraces (three on the first floor and four on the upper floor). The corners of both lower and upper terraces contain smaller spires.

The top of the Sulamani comprises of a sikhara, a tower structure originating from North India. Unlike the one of the Ananda temple, the sikhara is not gilded. On top of that is the Hti, a spire ornament shaped like an umbrella.

The temple has entrance porches on all four sides. The main entrance is the Eastern one which extends further out from the structure than the others. Except for this, the structure is symmetrical.

The temple complex originally has other buildings like an ordination hall, a library where the Buddhist scriptures were kept and monks living quarters. The remains of the Sulamani Kyaung, the monastery building are still visible within the walled area.

Note:

Location: in the village of Minnanthu (southwest of Bagan)

Open daily, all year around

Entrance fees: included in Bagan Zone fee at US$ 15 per person

Highlights:

The most important thing of Sulamani temple that attracts visitors is its fine brickwork. Do not miss the beautiful glazed terracotta plaques in the base and terraces of temple. Besides, please take your time to visit carved stucco decorations on the pediments over the entrance doors and windows as well as frescoes and murals on corridor surrounding the lower cube. They show you the stories about the life of the Buddha and various mythological animals like Naga snakes and Makara sea creatures as well.

In Sulamani Temple, you will see many hawkers selling antiques; take particular care before buying any of the gems offered and in all cases bargain determinedly.