The Ancient Temple City of Bagan

10,000 temples, monasteries and meditation centers over 40 square miles

By CyArk

Bagan by Kieran Kesner for CyArkCyArk

The capital city of Bagan is an ancient city just off the eastern banks of the Ayeyarwady River. It thrived for 500 years under the rule of the Myanmar Kingdom (9 CE to 14 CE) and helped unify Burmese culture, which adopted the oldest surviving school of Buddhism – Theravada. 

Bagan by Kieran Kesner for CyArkCyArk

The Bagans built the Valley of a Thousand Temples – over 10,000 religious temples across 40 square miles. Only 2,500 of the original temples survived and today they can all be found in the Bagan Archaeological Area.  

Bagan by Kieran Kesner for CyArkCyArk

The temples are still admired for their extraordinary craftsmanship and unique architectural styles.

Bagan by Kieran Kesner for CyArkCyArk

Some of the temples are covered in frescoes of Buddha, which have been remarkably preserved over the centuries. 

Bagan by Kieran Kesner for CyArkCyArk

Myanmar’s Ancient Buddhist Temple City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019, giving us one of the most precious, densest and largest concentrations of Buddhist temples  in the world.

Bagan by Kieran Kesner for CyArkCyArk

Bagan is often described as an “archeological” site but, in reality, it is still very much active. It has functioning temples that are visited regularly by both local and national Buddhist communities.  

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