Myanmar has a varied landscape of the lowlands to the mountains. Many large rivers and volcanoes cause the condition of the land is very fertile.
The majority of the people of Myanmar are devout Buddhists. It also still adhere to customs and traditions. The tourism sector of this country has to offer in the form of historic buildings, religious festivals, and many traditional arts.
The main tourist destination in Myanmar is Bagan, capital of the first Myanmar Empire, one of the richest archaeological sites in South-east Asia. Situated on the eastern bank of the Ayeyawaddy River, it is reached by a 90 minute flight from Yangon. The 42 sq km area of Bagan contains over 2000 edifices, the well-preserved pagodas and temples representing the rich cultural heritage of the 11th – 13th century.
One of the most famous historical relics are the Shwedagon pagoda, the pagoda was originally founded in 588 BC century, and perpetuated by the presence of relics of Buddhist heritage.
Formerly pagodanya building height is not more than 20 meters when it was first built. The pagoda was built and continues to grow throughout the kingdom in Myanmar during the last century 26.
Building the pagoda underwent two major renovations in 1453 and 1774, during the reign of Queen Shin Saw Pu Hsin Phyu Shin and King. Start of the 16th century pagoda was a historic shrine that many residents diziarahi Myanmar. Apart from being the religious center, also attracted foreign tourists come because of its large pagoda shape and golden.
Ananda temple is considered to be one of the most surviving masterpiece of the Mon architecture. Also known as the finest, largest, best preserved and most revered of the Bagan temples. During the 1975 earthquake, Ananda suffered considerable damage but has been totally restored. The base and terraces are decorated with a great number of glazed tiles showing scenes from the earlier lives of Buddha. In the western sanctum there are life size statues of the temple’s founder and his primate while in the west porch there are two footprints of Buddha on pedestals.
Beside Shwedagon pagoda and the Ananda temple is still a lot of historical places in Bagan.
An interesting museum stands close to Ananda Temple, which houses a large number of images and other fine art works found in temples around Bagan.
The ruins of the main gate on the east wall are all that remain of the old 9th century city. The gate is guarded by brother and sister angels, finding brother in the left, and the sister in the right. Traces of old stucco can still be seen on the gateway.
The name itself stands for “The Omniscience”, and is the highest temple in Bagan, rising up to 200 feet (61m) and was built by Alaungsithu (AD 1113-1167) too. In a monastery compound slightly southwest of the temple there are stone supports which one held the temple’s huge bronze bell. Northeast of the temple stands a small Tally Pagoda, which was built of one brick per 10,000 bricks used in the main temple.
Shwe Gugyi Temple
Built by King Alaungsithu (AD 1113-1167), this temple is an early example of a transition in architectural styles which resulted in airy lighter buildings. The temple is also notable for its fine stucco carvings and for the stone slabs in the inner wall, which tell its history including the fact that its construction took seven months only.
Bagan Library (Pitakat Taik)
Following the fall of Thaton Kingdom in the south, King Anawrahtar (AD 1044-1077) brought 30-elephant-loads of Buddhist scriptures and built this library to house them in 1058. It was repaired in 1738. The architecture of the square building is notable for the perforated stone windows and the plaster carvings on the roof in imitation of Myanmar wood carvings.
This 19-feet (6m) high stone Buddha image was built in 1284.
This temple is similar to Htilominlo and the Gawdawpalin in architecture but with better interior lighting. It stands beyond the Dhammayangyi Temple and was built in 1181 by Narapatisithu (AD 1174-1211). The interior was once painted with fine frescoes but only dim traces can be seen today.
Bupaya Pagoda (Bu Pagoda)
Situated right on the river bank of the Ayeyarwady, this pagoda has been claimed to be the oldest in Bagan, dating back to 3rd century AD. The shape is extraordinary being in the shape of a gourd.
It is one of the largest temples in Bagan, built during the reign of King Narapatisithu. Severly damaged by the earthquake of 1975. The tip of the temple, was as high as 180 feet (55m).
Gubyaukgyi Temple (Wetkyi-in)
A 13th century temple with a spire resembling the Mahabodhi Temple at Buddha Gaya in India: the Gubyaukgyi is noted for its wall paintings, depicting scenes from the previous lives of the Buddha.
Built by King Nadaungmya in 1211: the 50 metres high Htilominlo is one of the largest temples of Bagan; and is noted for its fine plaster carvings.
This massive temple: built by King Narathu in the 12th century, displays the finest brickwork in Bagan.