by [Dmitry Moiseenko|https://www.facebook.com/dmitry.moiseenko] and
[Stas Sedov|http://rccam.livejournal.com],
members of the [AirPano Team|Geography/About/Consortium/AirPano,_Team] that is a member of the [global-geography Consortium|Geography/About/Consortium]. \\

28 March 2014

with kind permission of [AirPano|http://www.AirPano.com]

The great ancient kingdom of Pagan, or Bagan, (which sounds better in
Russian) was once located on the territory of the modern country of
Myanmar (previously known as Burma). The capital of the kingdom was also
named Bagan. The city of Bagan stretched along the western shore of the
Irrawaddy, or Ayeyarwady, River. Today, it is one of the largest
archeological zones in the world. A great number of pagodas and Buddhist
stupas were built on the 40-square-kilometer site. Thousands of the
temples have survived to this present day and are still in good
condition; but thousands more now lie in ruins. Most of the structures
were built during the 11th—13th centuries.

[{Image src='01_Shwesandaw Stupa.jpg' caption='Shwesandaw Stupa' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='600'}]

The legend says that King Pyinbya founded the city of Bagan in 845 AD
after his people migrated from Tibet to Burma. The king decided to make
Buddhism the main religion of the country and invited monks from Sri
Lanka to help with the conversion. Since then, Bagan has become the
largest religious, scientific, and cultural center of the region.

At the end of 13th century Mongol armies invaded the kingdom of Bagan.
They left the city in ruins, destroyed golden temples, and plundered and
took away many religious relics. The earthquake of 1975 also added to
the decay of the city. Today, the city of Bagan is almost nonexistent.
There is a Bagan airport and a few settlements surrounding the Bagan
Archeological Zone that consist of temples of various sizes. The temples
are scattered on varied terrains: deserts, jungles, and even plains with
single-standing palm trees... Ancient architects used red bricks and
white stones to build the pagodas. However, unlike the Shwezigon Pagoda
(also known as the Mystical Stupa), these buildings were not gilded with
gold leaf.

[{Image src='02_Balloons near the Sulamani Temple.jpg' caption='Balloons near the Sulamani Temple' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='524'}]

According to the legend, ancient King Anawrahta personally placed a
statue of Buddha on the back of a white elephant and let it ride around.
Right on the spot where the elephant kneeled with the statue is where
the Shwezigon Pagoda was built. The pagoda is believed to enshrine a
frontal bone and a tooth of Buddha, but it is possible that this tooth
is just a copy and the original one remains in Sri Lanka. However,
considering the fact that some people are still skeptical about the
origin of the tooth in Sri Lanka, we had better quit this delicate
subject and go back to discussing archeology.

[{Image src='03_Near the Thatbyinnyu Temple.jpg' caption='Near the Thatbyinnyu Temple' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='494'}]

The Shwezigon Pagoda is also famous for combining two new styles of
architecture: Mon and Burmese. As for the pre-Buddhist architecture of
the area, there are numerous wooden sculptures of spirits that used to
be worshiped by the local people of Bagan. The statues were placed on
terraces surrounding Buddhist temples in order to attract people's
attention to the new Buddhist teaching.

[{Image src='04_Shwesandaw Stupa.jpg' caption='Shwesandaw Stupa' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='600'}]

The Bagan caves (Gubyaukgyi) are yet another landmark of Bagan. Like
other areas of the city, Gubyaukgyi is comprised of temples connected by
a maze of corridors and surrealistic mystical frescoes covering the cave

[{Image src='05_Bagan_s temples.jpg' caption='Bagan's temples' alt='' width='900'  popup='false'}]

Instead of using the famous English proverb "as numerous as sand on the
seashore", when referring to Bagan, one can safely say "as numerous as
the pagodas in Bagan." Everywhere you go you can touch one artifact or
another, and as well as the numerous buildings, there are also over four
billion depictions of Buddha, including small-scale portraits carved
into stone surfaces all over the city.

[{Image src='06_Shwezigon Pagoda in the evening.jpg' caption='Shwezigon Pagoda in the evening' alt='' width='900' popup='false' height='621'}]

The city of Bagan is not only the main landmark of Myanmar, but it is
also undoubtedly one of the greatest monuments of history of mankind. We
invite you to connect with this amazing cultural heritage through our
virtual tour.

\\ \\
[17 Panoramas of Bagan|Geography/Asia/Burma/Pictures/Panoramas_of_Bagan]

[{SET customtitle='Pagan (AP)'}]

[{Metadata Suchbegriff='Pagan' Kontrolle='Nein'}]