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Bagan Introduction

Bagan is known as the city of Buddhist Temples and Pagodas. During the 11th through 13th centuries more than 10,000 Buddhist Pagodas and Temples were built in Bagan. Though some of them have been destroyed due to devastating earthquakes, the city still boasts of over 2000 temples and pagodas. In terms of religious significance Bagan only comes second to Angkor Vat in Cambodia. Bagan used to hold an important position in Myanmar during the 9th centuries when King Anawratha unified the former Burma under the umbrella of Theravada Buddhism. Some of these religious edifices are still visited by regular devotees while a few others have just hold on to their existence meekly.

Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay region of Burma. This city continued to remain the capital city of the Kingdom of Pagan from 9th to 13th century. One of Myanmar’s top attractions, it is officially called the ‘Bagan Archeological Zone’. This region is sometimes compared to the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The famous Ayerwaddy River washes its northern and western sides.

Various temples and stupas dominate the list of tourist attractions in Bagan. The Shewzigon Pagoda and the Shewsandaw Pagoda are the prominent ones and among the temples the Gawdawpalin Temple and the Dhammayangyi are the major ones.

To cater to tourist accommodation needs Bagan has a variety of hotels ranging from costly to moderate ones.

Bagan is actually located in the Mandalay area in Myanmar. Bagan is still developing as a tourist destination. However, its title of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site has helped to attract visitors to this land of temples and pagodas. Bagan lies in the dry zone of Myanmar experiencing little rainfall. The temperatures are quite high during the summer season. Bagan is special for Myanmar and also for discerning tourists because nowhere else in the world will one see such a vast line up of religious constructions. The religious constructions not only contribute to the rich religious history of the city but also to the architectural marvel of the past times.

The temples we built following two styles- the solid (stupa) style and the hollow style. Some of the famous temples and pagodas include Ananda Temple, Bupaya Pagoda, Mahabodhi Temple, Shwesandaw Pagoda and the Sulamani Temple. Apart from temples there are also other tourist sites like the Tharabha Gate, Anawratha’s Palace and the Bagan Archaeological Museum. The temples and pagodas are amalgamation of beautiful architectural styles. Innovation was attempted by the builders while constructing some of the edifices. The Mingun Pagoda is a fantastic example of such innovation.

Bagan is also popular for its glazed plaques, murals, stucco and lacquerware. Bagan is well connected with Mandalay and Yangon through buses, cars and boats. You can visit the hamlets of Ngyathayork and Zee-O and also the significant Mt. Popa.


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