Bagan - Myanmar (Burma)

The spectacular temple city of Bagan (Pagan) is located on the left bank of the Irrawaddy River about 90 miles (145 km) southwest of Mandalay. Think of a small area with thousands of temples and pagodas. There were originally 5000 but are a few thousand less now but Pagan (now Bagan) is an archeological zone founded in 1058 and boasts the most beautiful golden pagoda deserving all accolades and superlatives. It is the site of an old capital city of Myanmar and boasts ancient Buddhist shrines that have been restored as well as the ruins of many other shrines and pagodas. It was a walled city but much of the river frontage has been washed away over the years. Built in 849AD, the kings of Burma ruled from her from the 11th to the end of the 13th century when it was overrun by the Mongols. It never recovered its position. King Anawrahta (1044 to 1077) built the Shwezigon pagoda, a huge, terraced pyramid famous for its huge golden umbrella finial encrusted with jewels. Also worth seeing are the late 12th-century pyramidal Mahabodhi, the Ananda temple mountain just beyond the east gate, dating from 1091, the Thatpyinnyu temple built in 1144 with spacious halls, the great Sulamani temple and the lavishly decorated Gawdawpalin (late 12th century). You can also visit Mount Popa, 30 miles (50 km) southeast of Bagan, an extinct volcano with a magnificent rocky outcrop at its foot, a table mountain topped with shimmering gold stupas. This is the Popa Taungkalat, favoured home of 37 Burmese nats (aminist spirit entities), statues of which can be found at its base. There are more than 30 cruises calling at this port. Click the month or cruise line logo you are interested in to see details of the cruises.