Bagan (or Pagan) 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 Irrawaddy (or Ayeyarwaddy) River. As the heart of Burma during ancient times, Bagan serves as home to temples and buildings built from the 11th century to the 13th century. There are more than 2,000 pagodas and temples to be found, most of which were built by the ancient kings and leaders of Burma. Among all the cities in Myanmar, Bagan is the most ideal destination for tourists to visit regardless of the time of the year. Unlike cities in the lower part of Myanmar, Bagan does not experience a rainy season and it is the perfect climate of Bagan that enables tourists to discover and explore the ancient city with ease all year round.
Travellers to Bagan will not have to worry about not having any interesting places to visit. In fact, the only problem they may encounter is deciding on which destination to go to first. As the capital of the first Myanmar Empire, Bagan is home to many archaeological sites. There are many temples, pagodas and monuments to be found throughout the area and visitors can embark on a spiritual and historical journey by going from one temple to another as all the buildings are beautifully and uniquely designed. However, there is more to Bagan than temples and religious monuments. Bagan is also home to Myanmar's archaeological museum, as well as the highly revered Mount Popa.
This temple is one of the few remaining examples of Mon architecture; it was damaged during a 1975 earthquake but has been successfully restored. The Ananda Temple is recognized as the best preserved and most revered of Bagan temples. Location: South-east of Tharabar Gate in Old Bagan.
Bagan Archaeological Museum A
This Bagan attraction was officially opened in 1998. Tourists who want to explore the history of Old Bagan can visit the museum to see objects used during the Bagan period. The first floor houses the showrooms for visual arts and coiffures of court ladies, while the second floor has display rooms with religious themes. Opening Hours: 09:30-15:00 daily except Mondays and public holidays. Location: Northern part of Bagan, in the Old Bagan region.
Bu Pagoda (Bu Paya)
The name of this Bagan attraction already gives a perfect description of the place: Bu Paya means ‘a gourd-shaped pagoda.’ According to legend, Pyusawhti rid the area of 'bu,' which was a gourd-like climbing plant that infested the riverbanks. As a reward, he became the heir to the throne of Bagan and its third king. Location: On the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy River.
The Dhammayangyi Temple is one of the four major Bagan monuments and ranks alongside Shwezigon Pagoda, Ananda Temple and Thatbyinnyu Temple in importance. Its grandiose architectural plan is similar to Ananda Temple and was built by King Narathu, also known as Kalagya Min, 'the king killed by Indians.’ Location: East of Shinbinthalaung and Shwesandaw in the region of Old Bagan.
The Gawdawpalin Temple is one of the biggest shrines in Bagan, and the most imposing because of the Buddha images to be found on the ground floor. The building of the two-storey temple was commenced by King Narapatisithu but it was his son who completed the construction. The name of the temple means 'the throne which has worshipped.' Location: North of Meemalaung Kyaung in Old Bagan.