Saturday, August 4, 2007


Bagan , formerly Pagan, formally titled Arimaddanapura (the City of the Enemy Crusher) and also known as Tambadipa (the Land of Copper) or Tassadessa (the Parched Land), was the ancient capital of several ancient kingdoms in Myanmar. It is located in the dry central plains of the country, on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady River, 145 kilometres (90 miles) southwest of Mandalay.

Cultural sites The Payathonzu Temple is built in the Mon style. Temples in Pagan.Ananda Temple, c.1090, built by Kyanzittha Bupaya Pagoda, c.850, demolished by the 1975 earthquake and completely rebuilt Dhammayangyi Temple, c.1165, the biggest temple in Bagan, built by Alaungsithu but never finished Dhammayazika Pagoda, 1196-98, built by Narapatisithu (Sithu II) Gawdawpalin Temple, started by Narapatisithu and finished by Nandaungmya, the superstructure destroyed by the 1975 quake and rebuilt Htilominlo Temple, 1218, built by Htilominlo Lawkananda Pagoda, built by Anawrahta Mahabodhi Temple, Bagan, c. 1218, a smaller replica of the temple in Bodh Gaya, India Manuha Temple, built by the captive Mon king Manuha Mingalazedi Pagoda, 1268-74, built by Narathihapate Myazedi inscription, c. 1113, described as the "Rosetta Stone of Myanmar" with inscriptions in four languages: Pyu, Mon, Old Burmese and Pali, dedicated to Gubyaukgyi Temple by Prince Rajakumar, son of Kyanzittha Nanpaya Temple, c.1060-70, Mon style, believed to be either Manuha's old residence or built on the site Nathlaung Kyaung Temple, mid 11th.C., Hindu deities "confined" to this temple Payathonzu Temple, probably around 1200 Sein-nyet Ama & Nyima (temple and pagoda, 13th century) Shwegugyi Temple, 1131, built by Alaungsithu and where he died Shwesandaw Pagoda, c.1070, built by Anawrahta Shwezigon Pagoda, 1102, built by Anawrahta, finished by Kyanzittha Sulamani Temple, 1183, built by Narapatisithu Tan-chi-daung Paya, on the west bank, built by Anawrahta Tharabha Gate, c.850, built by King Pyinbya Thatbyinnyu Temple, the tallest temple at 61 metres, 12th century, built by Alaungsithu Tu-ywin-daung Paya, on the eastern boundary of Bagan, built by Anawrahta

HistoryMain article: Pagan KingdomThe ruins of Bagan cover an area of 16 square miles. The majority of its buildings were built in the 1000s to 1200s, during the time Bagan was the capital of the First Burmese Empire. It was not until King Pyinbya moved the capital to Bagan in 874 A.D that it became a major city. However, in Burmese tradition, the capital shifted with each reign, and thus Bagan was once again abandoned until the reign of Anawrahta. In 1057, King Anawrahta conquered the Mon capital of Thaton, and brought back the Tripitaka Pali scriptures, Buddhist monks and craftsmen and all of these were made good use of in order to transform Bagan into a religious and cultural centre. With the help of a monk from Lower Burma, Anawrahta made Theravada Buddhism a kind of state religion, and the king also established contacts with Sri Lanka. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Bagan became a truly cosmopolitan centre of Buddhist studies, attracting monks and students from as far as India, Sri Lanka as well as the Thai and Khmer kingdoms. In 1287, the kingdom fell to the Mongols, after refusing to pay tribute to Kublai Khan. Abandoned by the Burmese king and perhaps sacked by the Mongols, the city declined as a political centre, but continued to florish as a place of Buddhist scholarship.

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