Bagan is an ancient city that was the capital of the first Burmese empire. It is located in the dry central plains of the country, on the eastern bank of the Ayarwaddy river. As the heart of Burma during ancient times. Bagan serve as home to temples and buildings built from the 11 century to the 13 century. There are more than 2000 pagodas and temples to be found, ". Approximately 2,200 temples remain, in various states of disrepair. Some are large and well maintained, such as the Ananda Pahto, others are small tumbledown relics in the middle of overgrown grass. All sites are considered sacred, so when visiting, be respectful. Remove footwear and socks before entering or stepping onto them.

Bagan's golden age ended in 1287 when the kingdom and its capital city was invaded and sacked by the Mongols. Its population was reduced to a village that remained among the ruins of the once larger city. In 1998, this village and its inhabitants were forcibly relocated a few kilo-meters to the south of Bagan, forming "New Bagan" where accommodation is a handful of cheap, quaint, clean hotels, and religious centers.

Despite the majesty and importance of Bagan, UNESCO did at one conference opt to not include it on its World Heritage List, because some temples were rebuilt in an un-historic fashion. Nonetheless, the site is perhaps as impressive as the pyramids of Egypt: a dry, vast open landscape dominated entirely by votive architecture. Bagan was finally listed in 2019.

Last updated 4 years ago