Ananda Oak Kyaung



Ananda Oak Kyaung

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In ancient Pali­Sanskrit, “oak” means “brick,” and this small vihara (chapel or sanctuary) is  one of only a few brick monas- teries surviving from the early  Bagan period. The building  is best known for the excep- tionally well­preserved frescoes  that cloak its interior walls and ceilings. Rendered in earthy reds, greens, blacks, and browns, these are particularly rich with scenes of everyday life in the 11th century: market shopping, Arab traders, soldiers marching, and people bathing, cooking,  and playing musical instru- ments, including the hsaing  waing (Burmese musical ensem- ble) and saung gauk (Burmese  harp). There is also some erotica. Although Ananda Oak Kyaung is locked as a rule, the caretaker who has the key lives in a house next to the com pound and will open it for visitors.

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