The temples of Bagan are a major tourist attraction center in Myanmar. The thousands of temples lie on a 100km square plain, and it is a famous destination for Buddhist pilgrimage.
Bagan lies on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River in Burma (Myanmar). This was the capital of the kingdom of Pagan from the 9th to the 13th centuries. During the periods between the 11th to the 13th centuries, thousands of temples were commissioned by the wealthy residents of Pagan to be built on the plains. Approximately 10,000 Buddhist temples were built in the 100km square plain in central Myanmar. At present, about 2,200 temples still stand. These temples combine to form what is known as the Bagan Archeological Zone.
Bagan Archeological Zone is one of the richest archeological sites in Asia. For a fee of K25,000 (18 USD) one have the freedom to explore this eye-catching site at their discretion. Several methods can be used to explore these temples. For instance, one can hire a bicycle which represents the cheapest mode of transport around the temples. It is easier and more convenient to explore the temples by use of a bicycle as compared to traveling on foot as the plain is too large. The cost of hiring a bike is approximately K2,000 (1.50 USD) per day. The next way of exploring the temples is by use of horse and cart that has a guide. This represents the most favorable means of exploring the temple. This is because the guides know the eye-catching routes to follow. The price of hiring a horse and cart ranges from approximately K15,000 (11 USD) to K25,000 (18 USD) per day. Another way of exploring these temples is by use of air-conditioned taxis. The most spectacular way of exploring the temples is by use of hot air balloons. Using this means to provide a good and a different view of the temples. The cost, however, is must more significant, at somewhere around K38,7742 (285 USD).
A unique thing about these 2,200 temples is that the pagodas and stupas each have a different story to tell. It is also ideal to visit these plains either at dawn or at dusk to experience a spectacular view. Something that is always worth considering is the difference between the ancient and the renovated temples. All of the temples of Bagan are considered sacred by the Burmese.
Living in the Temples of Bagan is prohibited because it is a tourist attraction and heritage center. The Bagan people live near the tamples. However, before the Mongol invasion, the Buddhist and the Burmese people settled in this area. Myanmar people now inhabit the old Bagan city.
In the year 2016, Began was hit by a massive earthquake that caused destructions in some of the temples. The government’s resort to renovation and build new temples by use of a modern material is a threat to the ancient temples. The move to renovate these temples has been heavily criticized and has led to UNESCO’s refusal to declare the temples as a World Heritage Site because it has since lost its historic nature.