The thousands of temples that are spread across the plains of Bagan (sometimes spelt Pagan) are the most impressive testament to the religious devotion of Myanmar’s people – and rulers – over the centuries. They combine to form one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia and provide views quite unlike anywhere else on earth. Bagan (formerly known as Pagan) was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan from the 9th to the 13th centuries. This kingdom was the first to unify the area that is now Myanmar, establishing the Burmese culture and ethnicity, as well as Theravada Buddhism, in the region. Over this period of rule, as the city and kingdom grew in influence and stature, over 10,000 temples were built on the plains surrounding the capital next to the Irrawaddy River.
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