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Myanmar Hotel

Your destination : Myanmar / Bagan

Bagan

Bagan is home to the largest area of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins in the world – many dating to the 11th and 12th centuries. The shape and construction of each building is highly significant in Buddhism with each component part taking on spiritual meaning. Bagan became a central powerbase of the mid 9th century under King Anawratha, who unified Burma under Theravada Buddhism. It is estimated that as many as 13,000 temples and stupas once stood on this 42-sq km plain in central Myanmar, and Marco Polo once described Bagan as a "gilded city alive with tinkling bells and the swishing sounds of monks' robes". Approximately 2,200 remain today, 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, however, are considered active sacred sites, so when visiting roaming among the stupas, feel free to show off all your best behavior. 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 amongst the ruins of the once larger city. In 1998, this village and its inhabitants were forcibly relocated a few kilometers to the south of Bagan, forming "New Bagan" where you will find accommodation in its handful of cheap, quaint, clean hotels and religious centers. Despite the majesty and importance of Bagan, Unesco has failed to include it on its world heritage site, because it says some temples were rebuilt in an un-historic way. Nonetheless, the site is arguably as impressive as the Pyramids of Egypt: a dry, vast open landscape dominated entirely by votive architecture.