Often considered as the crown jewel of Bagan, Sulamani Temple is probably on every visitor’s itinerary in Bagan. The huge popularity of Sulamani probably comes from its magnificently preserved wall paintings along the long and dark corridors inside the temple, and the detailed ornaments of the pediments and pilasters. Built in the 12th century by Narapatisithu, Sulamani has withstood a series of earthquakes throughout history. The latest earthquake hit Bagan in 2016. Sulamani’s gilded spire and top umbrella collapsed, along with damages here and there that kept the temple behind scaffolding for much of 2017. Fortunately when we were there the temple had already reopen its doors to the public.
We left our shoes at the arched entrance gateway. From the entrance, we could notice the absence of the gilded spire.
The first worship hall where we entered the temple was packed with worshippers.
Many worshippers were busy applying gold leaves to the Buddhist statue.
Between different worshipping halls were the famous corridors with extensive murals.
Magnificent wall paintings include the reclining Buddha.
Even the ceiling was full of frescoes.
Our guide Win Thu told us a few Buddhist stories as we admired the frescoes.
Details of a Buddhist statue in another worship hall.
Atop another Buddhist statue we could find a chatra umbrella, a common auspicious symbol in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.
Another interesting fresco depicts groupd of worshippers.
We exited the temple from the worship hall where we first arrived.
From the exterior, we could admire the beautiful ornaments of the temple.
Local visitor at an ornate window opening.
A large part of the temple was under repair from the 2016 earthquake.
We took our time to walk around Sulamani to check out its exterior ornaments.
Its pilasters are some of the finest in Bagan.
Sulamani was undoubtedly one of the most important temples in Bagan for tourists.
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Blog posts on Myanmar 2017:
Day 1: Yangon, Myanmar
DAY 1: INTRODUCTION OF A SHORT BURMESE CHRISTMAS VACATION
DAY 1: WALK TO 999 SHAN NOODLE HOUSE
DAY 1: SULE PAGODA
DAY 1: COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE
DAY 1: BUSTLING STREET LIFE
DAY 1: GOLDEN WORLD OF SHWEDAGON PAGODA
DAY 1: A PLACE FOR PEOPLE, Shwedagon Pagoda
DAY 1: EVENING MAGIC OF THE GOLDEN SHWEDAGON PAGODA
DAY 1: A FESTIVE NIGHT
Day 3: Bagan
DAY 3: MAGICAL SUNRISE, Old Bagan
DAY 3: NYAUNG-U MARKET, Nyaung-U
DAY 3: SULAMANI TEMPLE
DAY 3: DHAMMAYANGYI TEMPLE
DAY 3: THATBYINNYU TEMPLE
DAY 3: NAPAYA, MANUHA AND GUBYAUKGYI, Myinkaba
DAY 3: SUNSET No. 2, Old Bagan
DAY 3: FINAL NIGHT IN NYAUNG-U
Day 4: Farewell Myanmar
DAY 4: FAREWELL BAGAN FAREWELL MYANMAR
After a full day excursion of historical temples and natural scenery in Nikko, we decided to spend the next day to explore another neighborhood in Tokyo. We started the day at the southwest area of Sumida District (墨田区), near the metro station of Ryogoku (両国). Many tourists come to Ryogoku (両国) for sumo (相撲): visit sumo stables to view professional practice, or checked out chanko nabe restaurants for a sumo meal, or even watch a game of sumo wrestling at Ryogoku Kokugikan (Ryogoku Sumo Hall). We, however, came to the area for museum hopping.
Opened in 2016, the Sumida Hokusai Museum is being considered as a novel cultural icon of Sumida. Designed by Kazuyo Sejima (妹島 和世), the sleek architecture houses exhibitions to showcase the life and works of the world famous ukiyo-e (浮世絵) artist Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎). With his Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (富嶽三十六景), Hokusai is definitely the most iconic figure of ukiyo-e (浮世絵) in the Edo Period (1603 – 1868). Kazuyo Sejima (妹島 和世), the founder of SANAA and a recipient of the Pritzker Prize in architecture with Ryue Nishizawa, is also a generation defining Japanese architect in her own right. From the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, New Museum in New York, Rolex Learning Centre in Lausanne, to Louvre Lens Museum in France, Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA have inspired uncounted architects and designers around the world in the last two decades.
The Midoricho Park (緑町公園) where Sumida Hokusai Museum is erected, is also the birthplace of Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎).
Sejima’s building immediately became a cultural icon in the rather low key residential neighborhood. The building provides an interesting backdrop for the community play area of Midoricho Park.
The building scale and the facade’s level of reflectiveness express a certain degree of novelty without creating an overwhelming impact to the surrounding context.
The cave like slit at each of the four sides provides a prominent entrance gateway at each side.
The reflectivity of the museum’s metal cladding is right on.
Everything on the facade is clean and minimal.
We walked to the main entrance via one of the triangular opening on the facade.
The facets of the glass panes and the reflections of the outside offer a unique entrance experience.
The detailing of the triangular opening is once again clean and minimal.
The angular aspects of the architecture is carried through into the interior.
The washroom on the ground floor is a cute little cube at the lobby.
Beside Sejima’ architecture, the works of Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎) were well worth the admission.
The exhibition space is not big. Most of his paintings are hung along the wall. Artifacts such as books and sketches.
The most famous works by Kazuyo Sejima is Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (富嶽三十六景 Fugaku Sanjūroku-kei). A selection of the 36 prints had been put on display.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa is perhaps the most well known image by Katsushika Hokusai.
Some of the final works by Katsushika Hokusai are also on display.
A wax display depicting the studio of Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎) and his daughter back in the Edo Period.
Outside of the exhibition area, there is a seating area with great views towards the Sky Tree.
Like many Spanish colonial cities, the historical core of Arequipa is laid out in a grid pattern. Occupying two city grids located three blocks north of Plaza de Armas, the enormous complex of Monasterio de Santa Catalina is the biggest tourist attraction in the city. Founded in 1579, the monastery is a nun convent of the Dominican Second Order. Dona Maria de Guzman, a rich widow, was the foundress of the monastery. At its peak, the 20,000 sq.m monastery housed about 450 people (nuns and their servants). Many upper class families were willing to pay a large sum of dowry in order to send their second daughters to the monastery as nuns. Nowadays, about 20 nuns still live in a private quarter in the complex. The majority of the monastery has been turned into an open air museum.
Monasterio de Santa Catalina is a great example of Spanish colonial architecture with unique local influences. With vivid colours, tranquil cloisters, and centuries of modifications and additions since the earthquake of 1582, the monastery has become a collection of colonial architecture and religious antiques. We spent a good couple of hours wandering in the monastery. The vivid blue, orange, and white walls gave the splendid and solemn architecture some delightful touches that echoed the vibrant colours of native cultures in Peru.
A floor plan of the monastery in display showing the extensiveness of Monasterio de Santa Catalina.
Cloister of the Orange Trees, one of the main cloisters in the monastery, is decorated with vivid blue walls and religious wall paintings.
Frescoes depicting religious stories at the cloister.
Fresco and the vivid blue wall by the cloister.
Roof drainage and the white washed walls of Monasterio de Santa Catalina.
A small court adjacent to the outdoor laundry area in Monasterio de Santa Catalina.
Steep exterior steps leading up to the rooftop.
Cluster of laundry basins where nuns washed their clothes.
Calle Sevilla in the living quarter is flanked by dwelling units for nuns, with the chapel in the background.
The vivid orange walls in the nun’s living quarter coupled with stone bench, large roof tiles, and unique roof gutter.
An atmospheric pastel coloured street corner and plant decorations looked surreal.
Stone inscription above a window opening in Monasterio de Santa Catalina.
Antique tools in a kitchen where nuns made their own food, including bread.
In almost every kitchen in the complex, there is a ceiling oculus for smoke ventilation and natural light.
There are many well preserved antiques in Monasterio de Santa Catalina, including the stone filter on the left and a wooden furniture on the right.
Portraits of nuns in a bedroom at the living quarter.
View of the living quarter, internal streets and outdoor fountain from the rooftop in Monasterio de Santa Catalina.
View from the roof top in Monasterio de Santa Catalina towards the scenery of volcanoes and mountains outside the city.
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Read other posts on Peru Trip 2010
1. Peru Trip 2010
2. Bumpy Arrival, Lima & Arequipa, Peru
AREQUIPA & COLCA CANYON
3. Monasterio de Santa Catalina, Arequipa, Peru
4. Plaza de Armas, Arequipa, Peru
5. Volcanoes and Vicuna, Pampa Canahuas Natural Reserve, Patahuasi, and Patapampa, Peru
6. Yanque, Colca Canyon, Peru
7. Cruz del Condor, Colca Canyon, Peru
8. Farming Terraces, Colca Canyon, Peru
PUNO & TITICACA
9. Road to Titicaca, Colca Canyon to Puno, Peru
10. Afternoon on Taquile Island, Titicaca, Peru
11. Morning on Taquile, Titicaca, Peru
12. Inka Express, Puno to Cusco, Peru
CUSCO & SACRED VALLEY
13. Pisac & Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru
14. Salinas de Maras, & Moray, Sacred Valley, Peru
15. Lucuma Milkshake & Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru
16. Saksaywaman, Cusco, Peru
17. KM 82 to Wayllabamba, Inca Trail, Peru
18. Wayllabamba to Pacamayo, Inca Trail, Peru
19. Pacasmayo to Winay Wayna, Inca Trail, Peru
20. Winay Wayna to Machu Picchu, Inca Trail, Peru
21. Machu Piccu, Inca Trail, Peru
22. Machu Picchu in Black and White, Inca Trail, Peru
23. Afterthought, Inca Trail, Peru
LAST DAY IN CUSCO & LIMA
24. Farewell to the Incas, Cusco, Peru
25. Last Day in Peru, Lima, Peru