Bagan Archeological Zone

"Once you have heard the call of the East, you will never hear anything else"

(Rudyard Kipling)

 

 Bagan Archaeological Zone, with its temples and pagodas dating back more than 1,500 years old is certainly one of the most fascinating archaeological sites in Asia.

 In 1057 the king Anawrahta brought here Buddhist writings of the Tripitaka, gained in his conquests, so the place became a religious, cultural and political center. Artisans and scholars of the Theravada Buddhism in India, Sri Lanka and Thailand moved here and under the rule of the kings of Bagan built more than 4,000 temples in a period of 230 years, until the plain was abandoned by the push of the Mughals.

 We visit the archaeological site of more than 41 square kms. by bicycle, crossing paths and fields sown with pagodas and temples, many of them crumbling but still maintaining its charm. Before our eyes and through the fog are arising silhouettes of the largest temples: the revered Anada Phaya, the huge Thatbyinnyu Pahto, the golden Shwezigon , the mysterious Manuha Phaya the Sulamani and Htilominlo Pahto built in brick, Shwesandaw with its excellent viewpoint of the plain, the great Dhammayangyi Pahto or the remote Pyathadar Pahto from which to enjoy a beautiful sunset. (Watch video).

At about 50 kms from Bagan is located the extinct volcano of Mount Popa, wich emerged from a volcanic eruption more than 250,000 years ago. From this vantage point you can admire the Taung Kalat and its monastery built for the Nats, mythological creatures who lived in the forests and among the flowers. For the inhabitants of the surrounding regions, the summit became the home of the gods, the "Mount Olympus" of Myanmar, being the center of national worship of Nat and his official home.

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