Ananda Temple is one of the finest and most venerated temple in Bagan. It was built by King Kyansittha in 1091 A.D. Of the four standing Buddha images, the ones on the south and north are original, comtemporary with the building. Both of the two original standing images seem to be smiling when viewed from the vestibules, and solemn by a closer look. Life-size statues of Kyansittha and Shin Arahan is also enshrined in the western sanctum.
In 1968, original mural paintings in the north and east vertibules were discovered after the lime-wash was removed by the chemists from the Archaeology Department. Those lime-wash were most likely to have been obliterated by some over-zealous devotees in the later times. The four huge door-leaves still remain at the entrances of the outer corridor. Those days the stone-socket the bottom and iron rings at the top of the door socket were commmonly used. The wood carvings and figures on the door frame and at the top of the door leaves are later additionally sculptured by King Bayinnaung.