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Nay Pyi Taw, Sep 6 Prime Minister Narendra Modi today visited the famous early 12th-century Ananda Temple in Myanmar's ancient city Bagan which is being renovated with India's assistance after it was damaged in a tremor last year.
The Buddhist temple, one of the surviving masterpieces of the Mon architecture, is believed to have been built around 1105 by King Kyanzittha, one of the greatest Burmese monarchs.
The temple's architecture shows Mon and Indian influence.
"Connecting with history. PM @narendramodi pays respects at Ananda Temple, the most historical and venerated temple in Bagan, Myanmar," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
The second largest temple in the Bagan region was first damaged in an earthquake in 1975, and again when a 6.8 magnitude quake shook Myanmar last year.
India and Myanmar signed an agreement in 2010 to restore the Ananda Temple and New Delhi allocated USD 3 million to the project being carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India. The ASI will also restore a number of pagodas and murals damaged by last year's earthquake.
Modi was briefed on the progress of the restoration by officials and through a photo exhibit at the temple. He prayed and also did a 'parikrama' of the temple during the visit.
Modi, in his address with Myanmar State State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, said he was excited to pay tributes to the monuments of religious and historical importance.
According to a legend, King Kyanzittha built the temple after eight monks from India visited him and told him about a cave temple in the Himalayas. The vision of a snowy landscape so impressed the king that he decided to replicate the temple in Bagan.