Bagan

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Ideal duration: 2-3 Days

Best Time: November - February Read More

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"One of the World's Greatest Archaeological Sites"

Bagan Tourism

Bagan is an ancient city located on the banks of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River in Mandalay region in Central Myanmar. Bagan was formerly a capital and a centre of a powerful Pagan empire which flourished for over 400 years. Today, it is a renowned UNESCO heritage site. The old town area is one of the most visited destinations in the country, who visit the Bagan Archaeological Zone, which comprises of the remains of over 4000 Buddhist temples and monasteries, around 1000 of which remain today. 

Bagan's rich culture, history, architecture and Buddhist temples have attracted travelers from around the world, from as early as the times of Marco Polo, who was besotted by the beauty of this town. Bagan attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year who romanticize the beauty of the horizon witnessing sunsets and gorgeous sunrises over these pagodas. 

Hot Air Balloon rides are very popular and are one of the ways of experiencing this enriching town. Nyaung U, located 2km away from Old Bagan has become an excellent base for travelers due to plenty of cheap accommodation, restaurants and tourist amenities.

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History of Bagan

The name Pagan is derived from the Burmese name Pugan, but its name in Pali is Arimaddanapura, which translates to the City that Tramples on Enemies. Bagan was founded in the 2nd century, many decades after the Pagan dynasty came into existence. But there is little evidence from this period, and most historians believe that Bagan was established at the end of the 9th century around 849 AD by King Pyinbya.

For the next 300 years, Bagan functioned as the centre of the political, economic and cultural capital of the prosperous Pagan Empire. The city of Bagan and the Pagan empire declined at the end of the 14th century due to repeated invasion of Mongols and the migration of people to other regions due to declining land conditions.

By the end of the 15th century, Bagan turned into a pilgrim site with fewer residents. From the 1900s until now, Bagan has faced more than 400 earthquakes, which destroyed thousands of temples. Now, less than 2000 sites remain, and the government has been making efforts to preserve them.

Tips for Visiting Bagan

  • Earlier, it was possible to climb on top of temples to watch the sunset or sunrise, but it is now banned. But many locals try to scam by claiming to know about secret pagodas offering great sunset views, and they would offer to show for money. Avoid these people as it is false, and also it is illegal to climb temples, and you may be fined.
  • Start your day early, preferably around sunrise to comfortably explore the sites. The weather gets hot, humid and sweaty no matter the time of the year, which makes it exhausting as the day progresses.
  • There are plenty of accommodation options available in Bagan, but the cheap and the best ones tend to get booked, especially during the high season. So, it is best to book them in advance if you are a budget traveler.

Bagan Photos

Bagan

FAQs on Bagan

What is famous about Bagan?

Bagan is a charming city that gives a glimpse of the Bagan empire and probably nowhere else can one find so many temples all scattered in one town.

What is not so good about Bagan?

If you are not a fan of history or temples, you will not find Bagan exciting or unique.

What is the best time to visit Bagan?

The best time to visit Bagan is between November and February. The weather is not very hot, and the humidity is manageable during these months, making it ideal to be outdoors to explore the pagodas. From late February, summer sets in slowly with March to May being the hottest months. Monsoon begins in late July and lasts until September. 
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What are the things to do in Bagan?

The top things to do in Bagan are Mount Popa, Ananda Temple, Shwezigon Pagoda, Dhammayangyi Temple, Nyang U, Thatbyinnyu Temple. You can see all the places to visit in Bagan here

What are the places near Bagan?

The top places near to Bagan are Mandalay which is 154 km from Bagan, Sagaing which is located 141 km from Bagan, Mrauk u which is located 184 km from Bagan, Inwa which is located 139 km from Bagan, Monywa which is located 109 km from Bagan

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