Bagan, located on the left bank of the middle reach of Irrawaddy, is a famous historic ancient city and the site of ancient Buddhist cultural remains. It is in the middle part of Myanmar and about 150 kilometers away from the southwest of Mandalay. Bagan is the cultural and religious center of Myanmar and it is also celebrated as the city of thousands of Buddhist pagodas. Bagan covers a total area of 42 square kilometers with a population of 250,000. There preserves a number of Buddhist pagodas and temples built in each historical period of Myanmar, which is the most precious historical and cultural heritage of Myanmar.
Bagan becomes well known for its abundant architectural monuments of a large variety which have the same historical value with Angkor Wat of Cambodia and Borobudur Temple Compounds of Indonesia. According to the legend, there were more than 4,000,000 Buddhist pagodas in Bagan from the 11th century to the 13th century when Bagna Dynasty was in full bloom. However, due to the wars and the earthquakes, only 2,000 pagodas are left at present. Nevertheless, Bagan has the largest number of pagodas in the world nowadays. The Buddhist pagodas have their unique artistic style in every aspect, including appearance, structure, use of materials and decoration. Among all the pagodas, the largest one is over 60 meters tall. Standing on the top of the pagodas, the grand sight of the city will come into view. It is said by the tourists of Bagan that they can also watch the most splendid sunrise on the top of the pagodas.
It’s a tradition for the Theravada Buddhism to build Buddhist pagodas in Myanmar. All the Burmese, including the king, the monks and the common people believe that building Buddhist pagodas can increase their virtue. Thus, their greatest wishes are to build pagodas for the Buddha.
Best Visiting Time
Most areas of Bagan enjoy a tropical climate with three distinct seasons. The hot seasons last from March to May and the rainy seasons last from June to October. The best visiting seasons last from November to the following February.