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History of Bagan

The ancient city of the Bagan is the seat of civilization for early Burmese kingdoms and is home to thousands of ancient pagodas and temples.

Story of Bagan began with local kings, ruling only a small principality. 11th century Nanpaya temple is a symbol of this era when old Hindu traditions began to melt with Buddhism.

King Anawrahta was the first famous king of Bagan, who conquered the Mon kingdom of Thaton in Lower-Burma by 1057 and created the first Burmese Empire. Shwesandaw pagoda erected just after his victory is a symbol of the newly empowered kingdom.

His son, Kyansittha led the occupying forces of his father and became the first monarch of a peaceful empire. As being a great admirer of Mon culture, he pursued a conciliatory policy towards the Mon of the south. Mon culture, especially architecture began to influence the royal seat. Abeyadana (1102-1103) and Ananda (1105) temples are famous landmarks of this era.

King Alaungsithu and Narapatisithu continued to add breathtaking monuments to the architectural heritage of his forefathers, including Shwegugyi Temple (1131), Sulamani temple (1181) and Dhammayazika pagoda (1196).

Glory of the empire didn't last very long, inexperienced kings and the Mongol invasion put an end to it by the end of the 13th century. The unfinished temple of Tayok Pye is a memento of a collapsing empire. It was erected by King Narathihapate, the last king of Baganwho had to fled to south where he was murdered.