Exploring the Ancient Temples of Bagan in Myanmar

Submitted by zach on Fri, 03/09/2018 - 11:05

Bagan was once the political, economic, and cultural center of the Pagan Empire. Researchers believe Bagan was founded sometime between mid-to-late 10th century. As the city became wealthier, over a 250 year period from around 1000AD, the city constructed over 10,000 religious buildings. The city's decline began as the Mongol's (China's Yuan dynasty) invaded and toppled the Pagan Empire. Today in Bagan, just over 2,000 temples and buildings remain. However even with these numbers, from a lookout point, one can see how temples pepper the the landscape. 

Bagan consists primarily of two areas, Old Bagan where there is a higher density of temples, and New Bagan, which is where local residence live. Prior to Bagan being declared a UNESCO heritage site, the local residence had lived within Old Bagan, but were relocated to New Bagan to support tourism.

The temples are spaced out and so getting around the temples will require a car, bike, or scooter. While I was there, I rented an e-bike, which is like a scooter that uses a battery. I recommend to e-bike as it will give you the freedom to travel easily around the different temples, and explore some temples that are not accessible by paved roads. 



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