Bagan is a famous royal city in today’s Myanmar that is full of myth and legend. In the days of the legendary Burman monarchy, the metropolis covered an area of 40 square kilometres and today, the numerous majestic buildings of Bagan provide an unforgettable insight into its history.
The development of the city was not only influenced by logical planning but was also designed according to religious and mystical ideals and was eventually built to reflect the structure of the Buddhist cosmos. The impressive temple complexes were designed to be a "paradise on earth", a place that lay between Earth and the realm of the gods.
As the first Burmese kingdom expanded, the former territories of the Mon Tribe were gradually conquered. However, militarily, the Mon Tribe proved to be inferior to that of the rising realm of Bagan. The Burmese troops captured not only many precious cultural and religious treasures but also more than 30,000 prisoners from the capital of Thaton. Almost the entire spiritual elite of the Mon were brought to Bagan and the captured monks, scholars, master builders, blacksmiths and stone masons soon determined the character of the Burmese capital.
The city’s temple ruins and sanctuaries are still worshipped in today and have a mystical appeal. Although archaeologists and historians have revealed much of the history of this fascinating metropolis, it is likely that part of the splendid history of Bagan will remain a mystery forever.