Top Ten Archaeological Ruins

Asia: Bagan, Myanmar

One of the most amazing sights in Myanmar is Bagan, a small town with an important past. Bagan rose to prominence in 1044 AD when King Anawratha ascended to the throne and shortly thereafter converted to Buddhism. After being denied Buddhist scripts from a Mon monk, King Anawratha went to war against King Manuba and the Mon town of Bago. Manuba surrendered, the town of Bago was destroyed, and the holy scripts, the Tripataka, were transferred to Bagan. Some of the pagoda ruins that remain today were built by Mon craftsmen and artisans who were taken to the city as prisoners after the war. About 200 years later, in 1287 AD, the feared Kublai Khan and his Mongolian horsemen stormed and conquered Bagan, destroying many of the town's wooden buildings. Bagan never recovered its former glory. Although not as widely known or as popular as Cambodia's Angkor Wat, the distinct architectural styles of Bagan's 2,000 pagodas and temples are a testament to a strong religious and cultural civilization.


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