Bagan (The First Myanmar Empire) lies on the Bank of the Ayeyawaddy River. Bagan is founded in 10th century and can be categorized as one of the richest archeological site because of 2,231 well religious monuments of the 11th to 13th century. Bagan is 42 sq km in area. It is also famous for their handcrafts such as lacqueware.
King Anawrahta built Shwezigon in 11th century. It holds a collection of relics, including Buddha’s frontal and collar bones and a copy of the tooth relic. It was said that a white elephant chose the Shwezigon’s site.
Anada was built around 1105 by King Kyansithar. This temple adopted Indian composition and said to be one of the architectural wonders. It is the most graceful with all artistic decorations.
King Alaung Si Thu in AD 1144 built the Thatbaynyu Temple, the tallest one in Bagan. It is 201feet in height. In the temple are circumambulatory vaulted corridors, four terrace devotional stupa, vihara (monastery and the library). It is a big complex structure with seven terraces in all facing east.
Damayangyi Temple was built by King Naratau in 12th century. Although there are four main entrances, only the outer corridors are accessible. A large balcony in the centre of all four sites makes it look like a shape of Greek Cross. It is the largest in massive site.
Gubyaukgyi Temple is famous for its frescos and stucoo works. From its architectural style and design it is believed that the monuments belongs to the early 13th century AD. The pictures of Buddha loot prints can be seen on the ceiling of the temple.
Mt. Popa is an extinct volcano which 1518 meters (4981 feet) above sea level, and a day trip from Bagan, set amid lovely hill and forest scenery. The Popa Taungkalat Shrine is home to 37 Mahagiri Nats, or spirits. Statues depicting the Nats are at the base of the Shrine. From the top of Taung Kalat, one can enjoy a panoramic view of the ancient city of Bagan.