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Bagan, Burma.jpg
Temples and pagodas in Bagan
Myanmar location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of Bagan, Myanmar
Coordinates: 21°10′20″N94°51′00″E / 21.1722063°N 94.8501098°E / 21.1722063; 94.8501098 Coordinates: 21°10′20″N94°51′00″E / 21.1722063°N 94.8501098°E / 21.1722063; 94.8501098
Country Myanmar
Region Mandalay Region
Foundedmid-to-late 9th century
  Total104 km2 (40 sq mi)
Bamar people
Theravada Buddhism
Time zone UTC+6.30 (MST)
Official nameBagan
Location Mandalay Region, Myanmar
Criteria Cultural: iii, iv, vi
Reference 1588
Inscription2019 (43rd Session)
Area5,005.49 ha (12,368.8 acres)
Buffer zone18,146.83 ha (44,841.8 acres)

Bagan (Burmese : ပုဂံ; MLCTS : pu.gam, IPA:  [bəɡàɰ̃] ; formerly Pagan) is an ancient city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar. [1] From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Bagan Kingdom, the first kingdom that unified the regions that would later constitute Myanmar. During the kingdom's height between the 11th and 13th centuries, more than 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, [2] of which the remains of over 2200 temples and pagodas survive.


The Bagan Archaeological Zone is a main attraction for the country's nascent tourism industry. [3]


Bagan is the present-day standard Burmese pronunciation of the Burmese word Pugan (ပုဂံ), derived from Old Burmese Pukam (ပုကမ်). Its classical Pali name is Arimaddanapura (အရိမဒ္ဒနာပူရ, lit. "the City that Tramples on Enemies"). Its other names in Pali are in reference to its extreme dry zone climate: Tattadesa (တတ္တဒေသ, "parched land"), and Tampadīpa (တမ္ပဒီပ, "bronzed country"). [4] The Burmese chronicles also report other classical names of Thiri Pyissaya (သီရိပစ္စယာ; Pali : Siripaccaya) and Tampawaddy (တမ္ပဝတီ; Pali : Tampavatī). [5]


9th to 13th centuries

Bagan's prosperous economy built over 10,000 temples between the 11th and 13th centuries. Bagan Sunset.jpg
Bagan's prosperous economy built over 10,000 temples between the 11th and 13th centuries.
Pagan Empire c. 1210 Pagan Empire -- Sithu II.PNG
Pagan Empire c. 1210

According to the Burmese chronicles, Bagan was founded in the second century AD, and fortified in 849 AD by King Pyinbya, 34th successor of the founder of early Bagan. [6] Mainstream scholarship however holds that Bagan was founded in the mid-to-late 9th century by the Mranma (Burmans), who had recently entered the Irrawaddy valley from the Nanzhao Kingdom. It was among several competing Pyu city-states until the late 10th century when the Burman settlement grew in authority and grandeur. [7]

From 1044 to 1287, Bagan was the capital as well as the political, economic and cultural nerve center of the Bagan Empire. Over the course of 250 years, Bagan's rulers and their wealthy subjects constructed over 10,000 religious monuments (approximately 1000 stupas, 10,000 small temples and 3000 monasteries) [2] in an area of 104 square kilometres (40 sq mi) in the Bagan plains. The prosperous city grew in size and grandeur, and became a cosmopolitan center for religious and secular studies, specializing in Pali scholarship in grammar and philosophical-psychological ( abhidhamma ) studies as well as works in a variety of languages on prosody, phonology, grammar, astrology, alchemy, medicine, and legal studies. [8] The city attracted monks and students from as far as India, Sri Lanka and the Khmer Empire.

The culture of Bagan was dominated by religion. The religion of Bagan was fluid, syncretic and by later standards, unorthodox. It was largely a continuation of religious trends in the Pyu era where Theravada Buddhism co-existed with Mahayana Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, various Hindu (Saivite, and Vaishana) schools as well as native animist ( nat ) traditions. While the royal patronage of Theravada Buddhism since the mid-11th century had enabled the Buddhist school to gradually gain primacy, other traditions continued to thrive throughout the Pagan period to degrees later unseen. [8]

The Pagan Empire collapsed in 1287 due to repeated Mongol invasions (1277–1301). Recent research shows that Mongol armies may not have reached Bagan itself, and that even if they did, the damage they inflicted was probably minimal. [9] However, the damage had already been done. The city, once home to some 50,000 to 200,000 people, had been reduced to a small town, never to regain its preeminence. The city formally ceased to be the capital of Burma in December 1297 when the Myinsaing Kingdom became the new power in Upper Burma. [10] [11]

14th to 19th centuries

A hot-air balloon flying over a pagoda in Bagan Hot air balloon over a pagoda in Bagan.jpg
A hot-air balloon flying over a pagoda in Bagan

Bagan survived into the 15th century as a human settlement, [12] and as a pilgrimage destination throughout the imperial period. A smaller number of "new and impressive" religious monuments still went up to the mid-15th century but afterward, new temple constructions slowed to a trickle with fewer than 200 temples built between the 15th and 20th centuries. [2] The old capital remained a pilgrimage destination but pilgrimage was focused only on "a score or so" most prominent temples out of the thousands such as the Ananda, the Shwezigon, the Sulamani, the Htilominlo, the Dhammayazika, and a few other temples along an ancient road. The rest—thousands of less famous, out-of-the-way temples—fell into disrepair, and most did not survive the test of time. [2]

For the few dozen temples that were regularly patronized, the continued patronage meant regular upkeep as well as architectural additions donated by the devotees. Many temples were repainted with new frescoes on top of their original Pagan era ones, or fitted with new Buddha statutes. Then came a series of state-sponsored "systematic" renovations in the Konbaung period (1752–1885), which by and large were not true to the original designs—some finished with "a rude plastered surface, scratched without taste, art or result". The interiors of some temples were also whitewashed, such as the Thatbyinnyu and the Ananda. Many painted inscriptions and even murals were added in this period. [13]

20th century to present

The original Bupaya seen here in 1868 was completely destroyed by the 1975 earthquake. A new gilded pagoda in the original shape has been rebuilt. Pumpkin Pagoda -Bupaya Pagoda-, Pagan, Upper Burma.jpg
The original Bupaya seen here in 1868 was completely destroyed by the 1975 earthquake. A new gilded pagoda in the original shape has been rebuilt.

Bagan, located in an active earthquake zone, had suffered from many earthquakes over the ages, with over 400 recorded earthquakes between 1904 and 1975. [14] A major earthquake occurred on 8 July 1975, reaching 8 MM in Bagan and Myinkaba, and 7 MM in Nyaung-U. [15] The quake damaged many temples, in many cases, such as the Bupaya, severely and irreparably. Today, 2229 temples and pagodas remain. [16]

Many of these damaged pagodas underwent restorations in the 1990s by the military government, which sought to make Bagan an international tourist destination. However, the restoration efforts instead drew widespread condemnation from art historians and preservationists worldwide. Critics are aghast that the restorations paid little attention to original architectural styles, and used modern materials, and that the government has also established a golf course, a paved highway, and built a 61 m (200 ft) watchtower. Although the government believed that the ancient capital's hundreds of (unrestored) temples and large corpus of stone inscriptions were more than sufficient to win the designation of UNESCO World Heritage Site, [17] the city was not so designated until 2019, allegedly mainly on account of the restorations. [18]

Bagan today is a main tourist destination in the country's nascent tourism industry, which has long been the target of various boycott campaigns. Several Burmese publications note that the city's small tourism infrastructure will have to expand rapidly even to meet a modest pickup in tourism in the following years.

On 24 August 2016, a major earthquake hit central Myanmar and again did major damage in Bagan; this time almost 400 temples were destroyed. The Sulamani and Myauk Guni (North Guni) were severely damaged. The Bagan Archaeological Department has started a survey and reconstruction effort with the help of UNESCO experts. Visitors are prohibited from entering 33 damaged temples.

On 6 July 2019, Bagan was officially inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, after 24 years since the military government first nominated the city in 1995, during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee. [19] This makes Bagan the second World Heritage Site in Myanmar, after the Ancient Cities of Pyu. As part of the criteria for the inscription of Bagan, the government of Myanmar has pledged to relocate existing hotels in the archaeological zone to a dedicated hotel zone by 2028. [20]


The Bagan Archaeological Zone, defined as the 13 by 8 kilometres (8.1 mi × 5.0 mi) area centred around Old Bagan, consisting of Nyaung U in the north and New Bagan in the south, [17] lies in the vast expanse of plains in Upper Burma on the bend of the Irrawaddy river. It is located 290 kilometres (180 mi) south-west of Mandalay and 700 kilometres (430 mi) north of Yangon.


Bagan lies in the middle of the "dry zone" of Burma, the region roughly between Shwebo in the north and Pyay in the south. Unlike the coastal regions of the country, which receive annual monsoon rainfalls exceeding 2,500 millimetres (98 in), the dry zone gets little precipitation as it is sheltered from the rain by the Rakhine Yoma mountain range in the west.

Available online climate sources report Bagan climate quite differently.

Climate data for Bagan
Average high °C (°F)32
Average low °C (°F)18
Source: [21]
Climate data for Bagan
Average high °C (°F)28
Average low °C (°F)16
Average rainfall mm (inches)5
Average rainy days212914212628242062155
Source: [22]


Mi Nyein Gone-Bagan-Myanmar-15-Panorama view-gje.jpg
Panorama of Bagan as seen from the Minyeingon Temple: The Thatbyinnyu on the left and the Dhammayangyi in the distance on the right
P1130180 filtered Panorama s.jpg
Bagan Plains with the Dhammayangyi on the left
Bagan panorama2.jpg
Bagan Plains with the Irrawaddy in the background
The plains of Bagan (02).jpg
Bagan Plains, as seen from across the Irrawaddy river.


Bagan stands out for not only the sheer number of religious edifices of Myanmar but also the magnificent architecture of the buildings, and their contribution to Burmese temple design. The artistry of the architecture of pagodas in Bagan proves the achievement of Myanmar craftsmen in handicrafts. The Bagan temple falls into one of two broad categories: the stupa -style solid temple and the gu-style (ဂူ) hollow temple.


A stupa, also called a pagoda or chedi, is a massive structure, typically with a relic chamber inside. The Bagan stupas or pagodas evolved from earlier Pyu designs, which in turn were based on the stupa designs of the Andhra region, particularly Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda in present-day south-eastern India, and to a smaller extent to Ceylon. [23] The Bagan-era stupas in turn were the prototypes for later Burmese stupas in terms of symbolism, form and design, building techniques and even materials. [24]

Evolution of the Burmese stupa
Bupaya (pre-11th century)
The Lawkananda (pre-11th century)
The Shwezigon (11th century)
The Dhammayazika (12th century)
The Mingalazedi (13th century)
Unnamed Buddhist temple (113753).jpg
Ceremonial umbrellas at a Bagan temple

Originally, a Ceylonese stupa had a hemispheric body (Pali : anda "the egg"), on which a rectangular box surrounded by a stone balustrade (harmika) was set. Extending up from the top of the stupa was a shaft supporting several ceremonial umbrellas. The stupa is a representation of the Buddhist cosmos: its shape symbolizes Mount Meru while the umbrella mounted on the brickwork represents the world's axis. [25] The brickwork pediment was often covered in stucco and decorated in relief. Pairs or series of ogres as guardian figures ('bilu') were a favourite theme in the Bagan period. [26]

The original Indic design was gradually modified first by the Pyu, and then by Burmans at Bagan where the stupa gradually developed a longer, cylindrical form. The earliest Bagan stupas such as the Bupaya (c. 9th century) were the direct descendants of the Pyu style at Sri Ksetra. By the 11th century, the stupa had developed into a more bell-shaped form in which the parasols morphed into a series of increasingly smaller rings placed on one top of the other, rising to a point. On top the rings, the new design replaced the harmika with a lotus bud. The lotus bud design then evolved into the "banana bud", which forms the extended apex of most Burmese pagodas. Three or four rectangular terraces served as the base for a pagoda, often with a gallery of terra-cotta tiles depicting Buddhist jataka stories. The Shwezigon Pagoda and the Shwesandaw Pagoda are the earliest examples of this type. [25] Examples of the trend toward a more bell-shaped design gradually gained primacy as seen in the Dhammayazika Pagoda (late 12th century) and the Mingalazedi Pagoda (late 13th century). [27]

Hollow temples

Gawdawpalin Temple Bagan Myanmar.jpg
Bagan, Myanmar, Dhammayangyi Temple.jpg
"One-face"-style Gawdawpalin Temple (left) and "four-face" Dhammayangyi Temple

In contrast to the stupas, the hollow gu-style temple is a structure used for meditation, devotional worship of the Buddha and other Buddhist rituals. The gu temples come in two basic styles: "one-face" design and "four-face" design—essentially one main entrance and four main entrances. Other styles such as five-face and hybrids also exist. The one-face style grew out of 2nd century Beikthano, and the four-face out of 7th century Sri Ksetra. The temples, whose main features were the pointed arches and the vaulted chamber, became larger and grander in the Bagan period. [28]


Although the Burmese temple designs evolved from Indic, Pyu (and possibly Mon) styles, the techniques of vaulting seem to have developed in Bagan itself. The earliest vaulted temples in Bagan date to the 11th century, while the vaulting did not become widespread in India until the late 12th century. The masonry of the buildings shows "an astonishing degree of perfection", where many of the immense structures survived the 1975 earthquake more or less intact. [25] (Unfortunately, the vaulting techniques of the Bagan era were lost in the later periods. Only much smaller gu style temples were built after Bagan. In the 18th century, for example, King Bodawpaya attempted to build the Mingun Pagoda, in the form of spacious vaulted chambered temple but failed as craftsmen and masons of the later era had lost the knowledge of vaulting and keystone arching to reproduce the spacious interior space of the Bagan hollow temples. [24] )

Another architectural innovation originated in Bagan is the Buddhist temple with a pentagonal floor plan. This design grew out of hybrid (between one-face and four-face designs) designs. The idea was to include the veneration of the Maitreya Buddha, the future and fifth Buddha of this era, in addition to the four who had already appeared. The Dhammayazika and the Ngamyethna Pagoda are examples of the pentagonal design. [25]

Notable cultural sites

Bagan at dawn Ruins of Bagan, 1999.jpg
Bagan at dawn
Old Bagan at sunset Old Bagan, Myanmar, Sunset over ancient 12th century pagodas in Bagan plains.jpg
Old Bagan at sunset
Ananda Temple Bagan, Myanmar, Ananda Temple.jpg 1105King Kyansittha One of the most famous temples in Bagan; 51 m (167 ft) tall
Bupaya Pagoda Pagan-Buphaya-pagoda-Nov-2004-00.JPG c. 850King Pyu Saw Hti In Pyu style; original 9th century pagoda destroyed by the 1975 earthquake; completely rebuilt, now gilded
Dhammayangyi Temple Bagan, Myanmar, Dhammayangyi Temple.jpg 1167–1170King Narathu Largest of all temples in Bagan
Dhammayazika Pagoda Dhamma-Yazaka.JPG 1196–1198King Sithu II
Gawdawpalin Temple Gawdawpalin Temple Bagan Myanmar.jpg c. 1211–1235King Sithu II and King Htilominlo
Gubyaukgyi Temple (Wetkyi-in) Early 13th CenturyKing Kyansittha
Gubyaukgyi Temple (Myinkaba) Gubyaukgyi-Bagan-Myanmar-02-gje.jpg 1113Prince Yazakumar
Htilominlo Temple Bagan, Myanmar, Htilominlo Temple.jpg 1218King Htilominlo46 m (151 ft), 3-story temple
Lawkananda Pagoda Lawkananda-Bagan-Myanmar-01-gje.jpg c. 1044–1077King Anawrahta
Mahabodhi Temple Mahabodhi Temple, Bagan.jpg c. 1218King HtilominloSmaller replica of the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya
Manuha Temple Manuha.JPG 1067King Manuha
Mingalazedi Pagoda Mingalazedi-Bagan-Myanmar-02-gje.jpg 1268–1274King Narathihapate
Minyeingon Temple Mi Nyein Gone-Bagan-Myanmar-06-gje.jpg
Myazedi inscription Myazedi-Inscription-Burmese.JPG 1112Prince Yazakumar "Rosetta Stone of Burma" with inscriptions in four languages: Pyu, Old Mon, Old Burmese and Pali
Nanpaya Temple Nanpaya-Bagan-Myanmar-01-gje.jpg c. 1160–1170Hindu temple in Mon style; believed to be either Manuha's old residence or built on the site
Nathlaung Kyaung Temple Nat-Hlaung Kyaung Vishnu Statute.JPG c. 1044–1077Hindu temple
Payathonzu Temple Bagan, Hpaya-thon-zu-Group.JPG c. 1200in Mahayana and Tantric-styles
Seinnyet Nyima Pagoda and Seinnyet Ama Pagoda Seinnyet temple.jpg 11th century
Shwegugyi Temple Shwegugyi-Bagan-Myanmar-01-gje.jpg 1131King Sithu I Sithu I was assassinated here; known for its arched windows
Shwesandaw Pagoda Shwesandaw Pagoda Bagan Myanmar.jpg c. 1057King Anawrahta100 m (328 ft) tall without counting the hti spire; Tallest Pagoda in Bagan
Shwezigon Pagoda Shwezigon.jpg 1102King Anawrahta and King Kyansittha
Sulamani Temple Sulamani Temple.jpg 1183King Sithu II
Tharabha Gate Tharaba Gate.JPG c. 1020King Kunhsaw Kyaunghpyu and King Kyiso The only remaining part of the old walls; radiocarbon dated to c. 1020 [29]
Thatbyinnyu Temple Bagan, Myanmar, Thatbyinnyu Temple.jpg 1150/51Sithu I66 m (217 ft); Tallest temple in Bagan
Tuywindaung Pagoda Tuywindaung Pagoda.JPG Anawrahta


Old palace site in Old Bagan. A new completely conjectural palace has been reconstructed since 2003. Bagan Palace.JPG
Old palace site in Old Bagan. A new completely conjectural palace has been reconstructed since 2003.

3D Documentation with LiDAR

The Zamani Project from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, offered its services towards the spatial documentation of monuments in Bagan in response to the destruction of monuments by an earthquake in August 2016. After reconnaissance visit to Bagan and a subsequent meeting at the UNESCO offices in Bangkok in February 2017, the Zamani Project documented 12 monuments in Bagan using LiDAR, during three field campaigns between 2017 and 2018, [31] [32] including Kubyauk-gyi (Gubyaukgyi) (298); Kyauk-ku-umin (154); Tha-peik-hmauk-gu-hpaya (744); Sula-mani-gu-hpaya (Sulamani) (748) Monument 1053; Sein-nyet-ama (1085); Sein-nyet-nyima (1086); Naga-yon-hpaya (1192); Loka-ok-shaung (1467); Than-daw-kya (1592); Ananda Monastery; and the City Gate of old Bagan (Tharabha Gate).


Bagan is accessible by air, rail, bus, car and river boat.


Most international tourists fly to the city. The Nyaung U Airport is the gateway to the Bagan region. Several domestic airlines have regular flights to Yangon, which take about 80 minutes to cover the 600 kilometres. Flights to Mandalay take approximately 30 minutes and to Heho about 40 minutes. [33] The airport is located on the outskirts of Nyaung U and it takes about 20 minutes by taxi to reach Bagan.


The city is on a spur from the Yangon-Mandalay rail line. Myanmar Railways operates a daily overnight train service each way between Yangon and Bagan (Train Nos 61 & 62), which takes at least 18 hours. The trains have a sleeper car and also 1st Class and Ordinary Class seating. [34] Between Mandalay and Bagan there are two daily services each way (Train Nos 117,118,119 & 120) that take at least 8 hours. The trains have 1st Class and Ordinary Class seating. [34]

Buses and cars

Overnight buses and cars also operate to and from Yangon and Mandalay taking approximately 9 and 6 hours respectively. [33]


An 'express' ferry service runs between Bagan and Mandalay. Following the Irrawaddy river the fastest ferry takes around 9 hours to travel the 170 kilometres. The service runs daily during peak periods and slower sailings with overnight stops are also available.


Workers at a lacquerware factory Bagan-Lacquerware-Factory-Workers.JPG
Workers at a lacquerware factory

Bagan's economy is based mainly on tourism. Because of boycotts against the previous military government, the Bagan region's tourism infrastructure is still quite modest by international standards. The city has a few international standard hotels and many family-run guesthouses. Bagan is also the center of Burmese lacquerware industry, which to a large degree depends on tourist demand. Much of the lacquerware is destined for souvenir shops in Yangon, and to the world markets. Moreover, the lacquerware-making process itself has become a tourist draw.


The population of Bagan in its heyday is estimated anywhere between 50,000 [35] to 200,000 people. [36] Until the advent of tourism industry in the 1990s, only a few villagers lived in Old Bagan. The rise of tourism has attracted a sizable population to the area. Because Old Bagan is now off limits to permanent dwellings, much of the population reside in either New Bagan, south of Old Bagan, or Nyaung-U, north of Old Bagan. The majority of native residents are Bamar.


The Bagan archaeological zone is part of Nyaung-U District, Mandalay Region.

Sister cities

See also


  1. "Seven more cultural sites added to UNESCO's World Heritage List". UNESCO. 6 July 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Stadtner 2011: 216
  3. "Business: The promise—and the pitfalls". The Economist. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  4. Than Tun 1964: 117–118
  5. Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 2006: 139–141
  6. Harvey 1925: 18
  7. Lieberman 2003: 90–91
  8. 1 2 Lieberman 2003: 115–116
  9. Lieberman 2003: 119–120
  10. Htin Aung 1967: 74
  11. Than Tun 1959: 119–120
  12. Aung-Thwin 1985: 196–197
  13. Stadtner 2011: 217
  14. Unesco 1976: ix
  15. Ishizawa and Kono 1989: 114
  16. Köllner, Bruns 1998: 117
  17. 1 2 Unesco 1996
  18. Tourtellot 2004
  19. "Myanmar's temple city Bagan awarded UNESCO World Heritage status". CNA. Retrieved 2019-07-07.
  20. "Bagan named UNESCO World Heritage Site". The Myanmar Times. 7 July 2019. Retrieved 2019-07-07.
  21. "Weather for Bagan". Archived from the original on 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  22. "Weather for Bagan". Retrieved 2021-03-03.
  23. Aung-Thwin 2005: 26–31
  24. 1 2 Aung-Thwin 2005: 233–235
  25. 1 2 3 4 Köllner, Bruns 1998: 118–120
  26. Falconer, J.; Moore, E.; Tettoni, L. I. (2000). Burmese design and architecture. Hong Kong: Periplus. ISBN   9625938826.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  27. Aung-Thwin 2005: 210–213
  28. Aung-Thwin 2005: 224–225
  29. Aung-Thwin 2005: 38
  30. Ministry of Culture
  31. "Site - Bagan". Retrieved 2019-09-27.
  32. "Laser Scanning for Heritage Conservation - Bagan, Myanmar -". 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2019-09-26.
  33. 1 2 "Getting to Bagan Myanmar". Visit Bagan. 16 March 2019.
  34. 1 2 "Train Travel in Myanmar". The man in seat 61...
  35. Harvey 1925: 78
  36. Köllner, Bruns 1998: 115
  37. 1 2 Pan Eiswe Star and Soe Than Linn 2010

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pagan Kingdom</span> Charter polity of Myanmar (849–1297)

The Kingdom of Pagan was the first Burmese kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modern-day Myanmar. Pagan's 250-year rule over the Irrawaddy valley and its periphery laid the foundation for the ascent of Burmese language and culture, the spread of Bamar ethnicity in Upper Myanmar, and the growth of Theravada Buddhism in Myanmar and in mainland Southeast Asia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kuthodaw Pagoda</span> Buddhist Pagoda with worlds largest book in Myanmar

Kuthodaw Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa, located in Mandalay, Burma (Myanmar), that contains the world's largest book. It lies at the foot of Mandalay Hill and was built during the reign of King Mindon. The stupa itself, which is gilded above its terraces, is 188 feet (57 m) high, and is modelled after the Shwezigon Pagoda at Nyaung-U near Bagan. In the grounds of the pagoda are 729 kyauksa gu or stone-inscription caves, each containing a marble slab inscribed on both sides with a page of text from the Tipitaka, the entire Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism.

Kingdom of Dhanyawaddy was the capital of the first Arakanese Kingdom, located in what is now Northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. The name is a corruption of the Pali word Dhannavati, which means "large area or rice cultivation or the rice bowl". Like many of its successors, the Kingdom of Dhanyawadi was based on trade between the East, and the West.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Narapatisithu</span> King of Pagan Dynasty, Myanmar

Narapati Sithu was king of Pagan dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) from 1174 to 1211. He is considered the last important king of Pagan. His peaceful and prosperous reign gave rise to Burmese culture which finally emerged from the shadows of Mon and Pyu cultures. The Burman leadership of the kingdom was now unquestioned. The Pagan Empire reached its peak during his reign, and would decline gradually after his death.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sri Ksetra Kingdom</span> Ancient Pyu city-state in Southern Burma

Sri Ksetra, located along the Irrawaddy River at present-day Hmawza, was once a prominent Pyu settlement. The Pyu occupied several sites across Upper Myanmar, with Sri Ksetra recorded as the largest, the city wall enclosing an area of 1,477 hectares, although a recent survey found it enclosed 1,857 hectares within its monumental brick walls, with an extramural area of a similar size, being the largest Southeast Asian city before Angkor times. Issues surrounding the dating of this site has meant the majority of material is dated between the seventh and ninth centuries AD, however recent scholarship suggests Pyu culture at Sri Ksetra was active centuries before this.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Early Pagan Kingdom</span>

The Early Pagan Kingdom was a city-state that existed in the first millennium CE before the emergence of the Pagan Empire in the mid 11th century. The Burmese chronicles state that the "kingdom" was founded in the second century CE. The seat of power of the small kingdom was first located at Arimaddana, Thiri Pyissaya, and Tampawaddy until 849 CE when it was moved to Pagan (Bagan).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gubyaukgyi Temple (Myinkaba)</span> Prominent Buddhist temple in Bagan, Myanmar

The Gubyaukgyi temple, located just south of Bagan, Myanmar, in Myinkaba Village, is a Buddhist temple built in 1113 AD by Prince Yazakumar, shortly after the death of his father, King Kyansittha of the Pagan Dynasty. The temple is notable for two reasons. First, it contains a large array of well-preserved frescoes on its interior walls, the oldest original paintings to be found in Bagan. All of the frescoes are accompanied by ink captions written in Old Mon, providing one of the earliest examples of the language's use in Myanmar. Second, the temple is located just to the west of the Myazedi Pagoda, at which was found two stone pillars with inscriptions written in four, ancient Southeast Asian languages: Pali, Old Mon, Old Burmese, and Pyu. The inscription on the pillar displayed by the Myazedi Pagoda has been called the Burmese Rosetta Stone, given its significance both historically and linguistically, as a key to cracking the Pyu language.

The Zabu Kun-Cha is a late 14th to early 15th century court treatise on Burmese statecraft and court organization. The text also includes a section on early history of Myanmar, which mentions several settlements across Myanmar that map to the archaeologically known Pyu settlements. About half of the 18th century court treatise Mani Yadanabon comes from the Zabu.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Art of Myanmar</span>

Art of Myanmar refers to visual art created in Myanmar (Burma). Ancient Burmese art was influenced by India and was often religious in nature, ranging from Hindu sculptures in the Thaton Kingdom to Theravada Buddhist images in the Sri Ksetra Kingdom. The Bagan period saw significant developments in many art forms from wall paintings and sculptures to stucco and wood carving. After a dearth of surviving art between the 14th and 16th century, artists created paintings and sculptures that reflect the Burmese culture. Burmese artists have been subjected to government interference and censorship, hindering the development of art in Myanmar. Burmese art reflects the central Buddhist elements including the mudra, Jataka tales, the pagoda, and Bodhisattva.

The architecture of Myanmar, in Southeast Asia, includes architectural styles which reflect the influence of neighboring and Western nations and modernization. The country's most prominent buildings include Buddhist pagodas, stupas and temples, British colonial buildings, and modern renovations and structures. Myanmar's traditional architecture is primarily used for worship, pilgrimage, storage of Buddhist relics, political activism and tourism.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lemyethna Temple</span>

Lemyethna Temple, also known as Lemyethna Pagoda or the Temple of the Four Faces, is 13th-century Buddhist temple in Bagan, Myanmar. Built in 1222 by the Pagan Empire, the temple remains in regular use.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tamote Shinpin Shwegugyi Temple</span> Theravada Buddhist temple in Kyaukse

The Tamote Shinpin Shwegugyi Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kyaukse, Mandalay Region, Myanmar. It was originally built by King Anawrahta of Pagan, and the second storey added by King Narapatisithu, and both were encased inside a huge stupa built by King Uzana of the Pinya dynasty. It was one of nine pagodas outside the ancient city that denoted the extent of the Bagan Empire. The temple had a pagoda on top was discovered to be hiding another pagoda inside, which in turn encased a two-storey temple.


Preceded by
No national capital
Capital of Burma
23 December 849 – 17 December 1297
Succeeded by