27 Jun
Posted in: Sangha at Large, Travel
By    Comments Off on Postcard from Burma: Bagan

Postcard from Burma: Bagan

Travel plans are starting to firm up for the Dedicated Practitioner trip to Burma, which will include a 5-night stay in Bagan. Here’s what Lonely Planet has to say:

Why go?

Marco Polo, who may or may not have visited on his travels, describes Bagan as “one of the finest sights in the world”. Despite centuries of neglect, looting, erosion, regular earthquakes (including a massive one in 1975), not to mention questionable restoration, this temple-studded plain remains a remarkably impressive and unforgettable vision.

In a 230-year building frenzy up until 1287 and the Mongol invasions, Bagan’s kings commissioned over 4000 Buddhist temples. These brick and stucco religious structures are all that remain of their grand city, with the 11th to 13th century wooden buildings having long gone.

Many restoration projects have resulted in a compromised archaeological site that can barely be describes as in ruins. Often the restorations bear little relation to the building systems and techniques used at the time of original construction. Still, Bagan remains a wonder. Working temples like Anada Pahto give a sense of what the place was like at its zenith while others conceal colorful murals and hidden stairways that lead to exterior platforms and jaw-dropping views across the plain


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