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Between the 9th and 13th centuries Bagan was the capital of the Kingdom of Bagan, a kingdom formed by King Anawratha who was able to unite Myanmar under Buddhism. The city’s ‘Golden Age’ came between the 11th and 13th centuries as the wealth of the population grew and the wealthy began commissioning temples, pagodas and monasteries to cover the plains around the river. At this time, it is thought there were about 10,000 structures, but over time many of the buildings fell into disrepair and some were destroyed by natural disasters, leaving less than half today. This legacy however is still immense - Bagan is home to the world’s largest concentration of Buddhist temples so there is much to explore. In all shapes and sizes, each temple or pagoda provides a different view of the past – some are of simple taste, some are more elaborate, and some containing beautiful frescoes and carvings. The very best temples are concentrated around Old Bagan – try not to miss Anando Pano, Shwesandaw Paya, Shwezigon Paya and Dhammayangyi Pahto!
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