Bagan, Burma ~ c. 1090-1105
Completed during King Kyanzittha's regime around the beginning of the 9th century, the Ananda Temple has become the most eminent structure in Burma. It is said that the temple "represents the endless wisdom of the Buddha" (Ananda Temple). The Ananda Temple was, in fact, named after an elder cousin and closest disciple of Buddha as he never left Buddha's side for forty years (Brooks, Jim).
The temple area is surrounded by lush greenery, creating a balance with the temple's rocky structure. The previously white walls and terraces had turned dark as a result of decades of discoloring by merciless weather. The whole temple itself received considerable damages from an earthquake and fire, but it was finally reconstructed in 1979 (Ananda Temple).
There are ranks and ranks of terraces on top of each other that end with a tall, spire-shaped structure before the terraces can complete a pyramid. Every part of the temple is carefully carved and decorated, often with arched designs, stupas, or sturdy statues. The placements of each of these decorations were calculated so they are all perfectly aligned.