Mingalazedi Temple., Bagan
Mingalarzedi pagoda built in 1277 by King Narathihapati, just outside the borders of Old Bagan and on the way to Myinkaba was under construction so access was denied. This temple is noted for its fine proportions and for the many beautiful glazed jataka tiles around its three square terraces which unfortunately couldn’t enjoy. Apart from that its uppermost terrace is one of the highest points offering panoramic afternoon view of all the monuments lying to the east.
The name of this temple (which can be transliterated many ways) literally means "auspicious pagoda", and is certainly one of the more visited temples in Bagan. Confusingly, it is also known as the Bessing Stupa or the Sunrise Pagod). It used to be a favourite sunset / sunrise spot (see seperate tip), but the need for conservation now means that you can't climb the outside of the structure.
The building was built between 1268 and 1274 by King Narathihapati and is the last of the large, late period monuments in Bagan. It is notable for the beautiful glazed tiles, called Jataka tiles of which many still remain.
There is an interesting story attached to the place. Local legend had it that if the temple was ever coompleted, Bagan would fall. The king believed this and actually stopped building work for 6 years. Having learned from Buddhist teaching, however, that nothing is permanent he started building again and the temple was eventually completed.
Ten years later, the Mongols invaded, Bagan fell, and the rest, as they say, is history.
There used to be 2 places famous for seeing sunset in Bagan. And one of them is Mingalazedi. However since mid of 2005, Mingalazedi is no longer allowed to be climbed. Nevertheless, there are still tourists who ignored the ban, as long as no one see you climbing up the pagoda.
BTW, the pagoda is the last structure to be built before the kingdom downfall.