Bagan was the capital of the first unified Empire of Anawrahta founded in 849 AD, and flourished from 1044 to the 13th century. Within an area of 42 km thousands of pagodas were built. The inventory of Bagan pagodas as documented by the Archeological Department listed the standing pagodas as 2217. In spite of inclement weather of a thousand year, which had destroyed, the precious works of art, whatever survived to this day still thrill the beholders. Notable among the ancient glory are Shwezigone, Ananda, Thabyinnyu and Dhammayangyi.
Bagan is just 193 km south of Mandalay in Upper Myanmar. It is on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. Known as the city of four million pagodas, Bagan is one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia. Bagan city covers an area of 42
sq.km. There, one can find over 2,000 pagodas, temples and monasteries built during the Bagan Dynasty founded by King Anawrahta in 1044 AD.
After unifying the country, Anawrahta accomplished another noble deed for the country: he introduced Tharavada Buddhism into Myanmar with the help of Shin
Arahan, a missionary monk from Thaton. It was Buddhism that influenced the rulers of Bagan Dynasty to build innumerable pagodas and temples in and around the city. The endless pagodas stand testimony to the rich cultural heritage of the Myanmars and also to the beauty and grandeur of ancient pagoda.