Bagan, Myanmar Overview

Bagan – temple city in Myanmar

Bagan, the historic royal city on the banks of the Ayerwaddy River in the indescribably interesting country of Myanmar, is home to the largest collection of Buddhist buildings with well over 2,000 preserved sacred buildings – temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins of the earth. Many of these fascinating architectural monuments go back to the 11th and 12th centuries and show in form and design the characteristics that are important for Buddhism, in which every component, no matter how small, has a special spiritual meaning. In addition to the architecture, this historic city, which is one of the largest archaeological sites in Southeast Asia, offers impressive murals, which are among the oldest surviving Southeast Asian paintings. The dry climate has partially preserved them in the best possible condition. Nowadays, however, the city is hardly inhabited.

According to historyaah, Bagan is the most important historical area in what is now the sadly beautiful country of Myanmar. The city, which has been the capital of Burma since 874, owed its rise to King Anawratha, who conquered the Mon capital Thaton in 1057 and brought the Buddhist Tripitaka Pali scripts to the city. They were followed by Buddhist monks and artisans who together turned Bagan into a religious and cultural center of the empire. Theravada Buddhism became the state religion. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the magnificent Bagan had become a cosmopolitan city, the size of which even exceeded that of the medieval “City of London”. Monks and students from India and Sri Lanka as well as from the Khmer and Thai empires came to the “land of copper” to live and learn here. But in 1287 Bagan fell to the Mongols after the Burmese king refused to pay tribute to Kublai Khan. Conquered by the Mongols and abandoned by its kings, Bagan’s political importance crumbled to dust over the centuries. The population dwindled to the size of a village. All Burmese still living on the plains of the old royal city were forcibly relocated to New Bagan in 1998 by the country’s disastrous military government.

In June 2002 Bagan was nominated by UNESCO as the potential first World Heritage Site in Myanmar. However, due to major interventions in the original architecture and the radical development of a tourist infrastructure (with golf course, paved expressway and 61m high observation tower), the nomination has not yet been accepted. The former rulership center of the first Burmese empire spreads out in a stepped landscape on an approximately 40 km² large plain, which offers an indescribable sight. Once, during the golden age of the eleven great kings (around 1044 – 1287), 13,000 sacred buildings are said to have stood here. The terrain, about 155 kilometers southwest of Mandalay, is definitely one of the most beautiful and fascinating treasures that Asia has to offer. The atmosphere, which is perfect alongside the architectural beauty, brings Bagan’s past meaning to life and will give every intimate observer a feeling that creates pain and inner calm in equal measure. A breathtaking experience that is second to none!

Bagan, Myanmar

Information that applies to the whole country, e.g. currency, entry requirements, health issues, etc., can be found under Myanmar.

Name in the local language Bagan
Name in German Bagan
Other names Pagan = Arimaddanapura (formal name; means: city of enemy
annihilators ) Tambadipa (land of copper)
Tassadessa (parched land)
Country Myanmar (formerly Burma)
location Bagan is located in central Myanmar on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady River,
about 155 kilometers southwest of Mandalay.
region Mandalay Division
Function of the city Historic capital of the first Burmese Empire
(nowadays hardly inhabited)
National currency Kyat
Adjacent waters Ayeyarwady River
Tourist center Myanmar Tourism Promotion Board c / o Traders Hotel, Level 3, Business Center
223 Sule Pagoda Road
Telephone: 0095 – (0) 1 – 24 28 28
ext.64 62Email: Travels and Tours (MTT)
Travel Agency)77-91 Sule Pagoda Road
Telephone: 0095 – (0) 1 – 282 013
Telephone: 0095 – (0) 1 – 280 321
Time compared to CET + 5.5 h = 5 h 30 min. (4.5 h in summer)
Mains voltage, frequency 220/230 V and 50 Hertz
(An adapter is recommended.)

Bagan: specialties, festivals, events


Myazedi inscription (also “Rajakuma inscription” or “Gubyaukgyi stone inscription”)
The “Myazedi inscription” dates back to 1113 and is considered to be the oldest surviving stone inscription in Myanmar. It occurs in the four languages ​​Pyu, Burmese, Mon and Pali and tells stories about Prince Rajakuma and King Kyanzittha. The main meaning of this inscription is that with its help it was possible to translate the written Pyu language. A copy of this inscription can be seen in the Myazedi Pagoda – the inscription is named after her – in the village of Myinkaba, south of Bagan. Another example was provided by the German Pali researcher Dr. Emil Forchammar discovered it in the 1880s and is currently in the Bagan Archaeological Museum.

Celebrations and events

A notice!
The days specified for these and other festivals depend on the lunar calendar. Many of the Burmese minorities have different holidays.


Pagoda Festival in Ananda Temple (full moon)
January 4th, 2007
Independence Day
February / March
Full moon of Tabaung
February 12th
Union Day
March 2nd
Day of the Peasant
March 27th
Armed Forces Day
April / May
Full moon of Kasone
13th – 16th April
Maha Thingyan (Water Festival)
April 17th
Myanmar New Year
May 1st
Labor Day
July 19th
Martyrs Day
July 30th
Moon Festival (beginning of Buddhist Lent)
October 26th
full moon of Thadingyut (end of Buddhist Lent)
November 24th
full moon of Tazaungmon
December 25th

Bagan: People I know

Ruler of Bagan

Pyusawti (since 167)
Timinyi (since 242)
Yimminpaik (since 299)
Paikthili (since 324)
Thinlikyaung (since 344)
Kyaungdurit (since 387)
Thihtan (since 412)
Tharamunhpya (since 494)
Thaiktaing (since 516)
Thinlikyaungnge (since 523)
Thinlipaik (since 523)
Hkanlaung (since 547)
Hkanlat (since 557)
Htuntaik (since 569)
Htunpyit (since 582)
Htunchit (since 598)
Popa Sawrahan (since 613)
Shwe Onthi (since 640)
Peitthon (since 652)
Ngahkwe (since 710)
Myinkywe (since 716)
Theinkha (since 726)
Theinsun (since 734)
Shwelaung (since 744)
Htunhtwin (since 753)
Shwemauk (since 762)
Munlat (since 785)
Sawhkinhnit (since 802)
Hkelu (since 829)
Pyinbya (since 846 the founder of Bagan in 849)
Tannet (since 878)
Sale Ngahkwe (since 906)
Nyaung-u Sawrahan (since 931)
Kunhsaw Kyaunghpyu (since 964)
Kyiso (since 986)
Sokka-te(since 992)

The following rulers belong to the Bagan dynasty

(since 1044)
Sawlu (since 1077)
Kyanzittha (since 1084)
Alaungsithu (since 1113)
Narathu (since 1167)
Naratheinkha (since 1170)
Narapatisithu (since 1173)
Nantaungmya (Htilominlo) (since 1210 )
Kyaswa (since 1234)
Uzana (since 1250)
Narathihapate (Tarokpyemin) (since 1254)
Kyawswa (since 1287)
Sawhnit (since 1298)
Uzana (since 1325)