Sunrise over the stupas of Burma's ancient capital, Bagan (Pagan). Located in the central plains on the banks of the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River, 145 km southwest of Mandalay, Bagan has also been called Arimaddanapura or Arimaddana (the City of the Enemy Crusher), Tambadipa (the Land of Copper), and Tassadessa (the Parched Land).
Rivaling Angkor in Cambodia, this vast plain of over 3,000 temples is breathtaking at any time of day. Most were built in the 1000s to 1200s, when Bagan was the capital of the First Burmese Empire, at which time it became a cosmopolitan centre of Buddhist scholarship.
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