If you are architecture or history enthusiast and Myanmar features on your travel wish list, then the ancient city of Bagan should feature at the top of your priority list. Of all of Myanmar destinations, the timeless city of Bagan offers a most astounding holiday experience.
Closely rivaling Angkor Wat for its glorious architecture, Bagan served as the capital of King Anawrahta and his successors from 1044 until late into the 13th century. It was at this time that the religion and education of the city changed hands from the Mon monks to Buddhism. And, while most of its scripture and shrines were transformed to capture this change, the legendary first temple of Bagan, Shwezigon Paya, was built to showcase the synthesis of the local animism and new Buddhism by featuring statues of the €Nat’ spirits of the land on its terraces.
The landscape of Bagan was touted to be home to 13,000 or more religious buildings at one point in time; however, today, as you holiday in Myanmar, you will still be able to witness around 2,217. For those already familiar with its history, seeing the remnants of Myanmar’s glorious past will be a sight to behold, though newbies visiting the Bagan Archeological Zone can consider it as a crash course in understanding the evolution of the Burmese style of temple design. You shall witness two styles of temples at this exotic Myanmar destination. One, belonging to the Mon characterized by square pagodas, multicolored murals and carved lattice windows, and a second set featuring wider, more spacious temple that allowed for more light to illuminate their interiors. A visit to the Bagan Architectural Museum will help offer further insight into the development of the signature style of temples.
There are many ways to explore the pagoda doted landscape of Bagan. You could choose to take a horse drawn carriage ride, bicycle your way through, take a leisurely car ride or even indulge yourself in a hot-air-balloon ride, in any case, this magnificent plain holds within its lush vistas the experience of a lifetime. Basing yourself in Bagan during your holiday in Myanmar will further prove to be beneficial as you will also gain easy access to many other wonderful sites. Mount Poppa with its enchanting monastery as well as the archeological site of Salay become well within reach as you choose to stay at this remarkable religious city, helping you make the most of your Myanmar vacation.