Bagan, also spelled Pagan, on the banks of the Ayerwaddy River, is home to the largest area of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins in the world – many dating to the 11th and 12th centuries. The shape and construction of each building is highly significant in Buddhism with each component part taking on spiritual meaning.
Bagan became a central powerbase of the mid 9th century King Anawratha who unified Burma under Theravada Buddhism. It is estimated that at one time more than 13,000 temples and stupas once stood on this 42 sq km plain in central Myanmar, and Marco Polo once described Bagan as a "gilded city alive with tinkling bells and the swishing sounds of monks' robes". Approximately 2,200 remain today, in various states of disrepair. Some are large and well maintained, such as the Ananda Pahto, others are small tumbledown relics in the middle of overgrown grass. All, however, are considered active sacred sites, so when visiting even the least conspicious, be sure to behave in a respectful manner.
Bagan's golden age ended in 1287 when the Kingdom, and its capitol city, were invaded and sacked by the Mongels. It's population was reduced to a village that remained amongst the ruins of the once larger city. In 1998, this village and its inhabitants were forcibly relocated a few kilometers to the south of Bagan, forming "New Bagan." Today the city is abandoned, with the esception of a few hotels and religious centers.
In Bagan You can buy beautiful lacquaware and other handicrafts, but please do bargaining,it is really need.At there you can get copies of mural painting in two types,one on plain sheet of cloth and another on sand cloth. At the main market you can buy cotton shirts and souvenir T-Shirts.