Founded in 849 AD it became the capital of the first unified Kingdom and the first multinational Union of Myanmar in 1044 AD. 42 square kilometres of open land, sited on the east bank of the famed Ayeyarwady River, covered by 5,000 mysterious and magnificent stupas and hollow pagodas of a bygone era, make Pagan one of the wonders of the world. Here lies a great monument to one of Myanmar’s brilliant eras. Today it is a rich and premier archaeological site that ofters a rich heritage from a twelfth century empire. A panoramic view of this land at sunset will leave you with a lingering sense of awe and wonder.Buddhist monuments in Myanmar fall into 2 basic styles – solid pagodas and hollow pagodas. Solid pagodas are solid conical structures with a central treasure vault below. Hollow pagodas are build with a hollow chamber in the centre where pilgrims can enter to worship or meditate
The last capital of the Myanmar kingdom, Mandalay not only offers wonderful sights to behold, but also has a number of nearby attractions, most historical and fascinating, all within a 3.2 kilometre radius – from cool hill resorts to nostalgic market places, from an ancient palace to a river ride up the famous “Road to Mandalay”, the Ayeyarwady River, or a ride in unique trishaws or horse-drawn carts.
This golden stupa, the most important pagoda in Pagan, was built in 1057 AD as a centre of prayer and reflection by King Anawrahta, the founder of the first Pagan dynasty. The Shwezigon is the prototype for all later Nyanmar stupas.
Mon in its architecture, this jewel of a hollow pagoda is not only Pagan’s most famous but also one of the few active hollow pagodas. Built in 1091 AD by King Kyansittha, it contains statues of Buddha and stone sculptures of exquisite workmanship representing various scenes in Buddha’s life.
This small but well laid out museum is run by the Archaeological Department. On display here are ancient artifacts found within Pagan. Whether mural paintings, plaster carvings or bas-relief, many are of high artistic quality – marvellous relics of Pagans glory.
Mount Popa, a 1,500-metre extinct volcano, about 60 kilometres south east of Pagan is home of Myanmars “nats”- a collection of 37 supernatural beings. Twice yearly, thousands of people will gather here to attend the nats festival to honour these spirits.