Bagan is less seen by world travelers but not less fascinating than the Angkor Wat in Cambodia, or the other world famous temple complexes in Asia. In fact, the temples in Bagan have not only archaeological wonders but it is the wonderful land in the fairy tales materialized on the east bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. Bagan has over three thousand temples and pagodas scattered over forty-four sq k (17 sq ml). The temples and pagodas date back to the centuries ranging from the 11th to 13th. It is the cradle of Myanmar civilization and the birth place of Myanmar Theravada Buddhism. It was the first Myanmar Empire founded by historical King Anawrahta in the 11th century. Among many temples and pagodas in Bagan, the Ananda temple, the Thatbyinnu temple, the Damayangyi temple, and the Shwezigon Pagoda are the most famous. In Bagan, the religious monuments are the temples, the ordination halls, the monasteries, the libraries, and the stupas (pagodas). Bagan- power decline coincided with the rise of the power of Kublai Kan’s Mongol Empire. As a result, Bagan was attacked by Tar Tar (the Mongol soldiers) sent by Kublai Kan and was destroyed in the 13th century. It was the end of Bagan Kingdom. After a few decades, Myanmar Kingdom rose up again in Sagaing (near Mandalay).
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