Myanmar: Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan
And last but definitely not least of the Bagan temples/pagodas – Shwezigon Pagoda. This is the first one pagoda ever built in Bagan, in 1044 AD by King Anawrahta, the founder of the Pagan Empire. This pagoda became the prototype for all other stupas and pagoda in Bagan (over 10,000 of them) but also all over Myanmar. This is the mother of them all! It has tremendous religious significance as it contains two Buddha relics – a tooth and collar bone (good idea they didn’t dismember Lenin in the USSR – every village could have had some of his teeth and bones in a mini mausoleum….). The pagoda is truly spectacular fully covered with layers and layers of gold leaf and massive lion sphinx guarding the four corners. It’s been damaged over centuries by multiple earthquake but meticulously restored and reinforced every time.