Bagan was one of the first capitals of an ancient Burmese empire and today, it is one of the world’s major heritage sites. With thousands of pagodas and temples dating back more than 1,500 years scattered across the Bagan plain, ancient Bagan rivals the temples of Angkor and is one of Southeast Asia’s most memorable sights.
Top Sites in Bagan
Located on the eastern bank of a deep bend in the Ayeyarwady River, Old Bagan represents the core of the archaeological zone. It contains several of the main temple sites, city walls and museum. Bagan’s prime began with the Burman King Anawrahta’s ascent to the throne and his great building program almost one thousand years ago. It was continued by his successors but the greatest edifices date from Anawrahta’s reign. After the invasion of Kublai Khan in 1287, the city was abandoned. Houses and palaces constructed from wood rotted away; only the brick temples and pagodas survived. Marco Polo, who arrived with Kublai Khan’s raiders, was probably the first Westerner to set eyes on Bagan.