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Bagan was founded in the eleventh century by King Anawratha, who introduced Therevada Buddhism to the region and started off the enthusiasm for temple building.
The landscape is dotted with numerous temples (over 2,000) that rival the splendour of Angkor Wat. Although Angkor Wat may have larger temples, Bagan is the clear winner for the sheer number of stupas it has across a large area of land. Bagan is situated on the banks of the mighty Ayeyarwady River, the longest river in Myanmar.
Bagan has had its share of problems throughout the years - it was attacked by Kublai Khan in 1287 and some of its temples were damaged in the 1975 earthquake. In 1990, the government forced Bagan’s inhabitants to relocate 4 kilometres south of Bagan (which became known as New Bagan).
Anyone visiting Myanmar cannot say they have visited the country properly unless they have visited Bagan. Many people in Myanmar are rightly proud of Bagan’s architectural pedigree, as its temples and stupas are amongst the most ancient and intricate found in South East Asia.