Bagan (Pagan) & Vincinity

(Bagan,Mt.Popa,Salay,Pakokku,Magwe,Kanpetlet) myanmar travel tips myanmar travel tips myanmar travel tips

Profile of Bagan

bagan32The 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. The Magic of Bagan has inspired visitors to Myanmar for nearly 1000 years. Bagan covers an area of 42sq.km containing over 2000 well-preserved pagodas and temples of the 11th-13th century.

The town of Bagan (formerly spelled as "Pagan"), central Myanmar (Burma), situated on the left bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River and approximately 90 miles (145 km) southwest of Mandalay. The site of an old capital city of Myanmar, Bagan is a pilgrimage centre and contains ancient Buddhist shrines that have been restored and redecorated and are in current use. Ruins of other shrines and pagodas cover a wide area. An earthquake on July 8, 1975, severely damaged more than half of the important structures and irreparably destroyed many of them. for which the region is noted.    It was first built probably in AD 849 and, from the 11th century to the end of the 13th, was the capital of a region roughly the size of modern Myanmar. In 1287 it was over run by the Mongols during their wide-ranging conquests, and it never recovered its position, though a little desultory building continued on Buddhist shrines.
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The walled city, whose moats were fed by the Ayeyarwaddy , was thus a sacred dynastic fortress. The circuit of its walls and river frontage is some 2.5 miles (4 km), and there is evidence that perhaps as much as a third of the old city has been washed away by the river. Because building was principally in brick, decoration was carried out in carved brick, in stucco, and in terra-cotta.

The   earliest surviving structure is probably the 10th-century Nat Hlaung Gyaung(Keeping Spirit Supernature/Nat) it is  the traditional     spirit deities of the animist ethnic Burmans. Ethnic group had been infiltrating from the   north into a region occupied by other peoples; these people already had been converted to Indian religion, especially the Mahayana Buddhism of Bihar and Bengal.

Under King Anawrahta (reigned 1044-1077), the ethnic Burmans finally conquered the other peoples of the region, including a people called the Mon, who were previously dominant in the south. They transported the Mon royal family and their scholars and craftsmen to Bagan, making it the capital and centre of an official, fundamentalist form of Hinayana (Theravada) Buddhism adopted from Ceylon (Sri Lanka), about 1056. This initiated the period of Pagan's greatness, which was sustained at first by Mon artistic traditions. The enormous number of monasteries and shrines built and maintained during the next 200 years was made possible both by the great wealth of the royal exchequer and by the large number of slaves, skilled and unskilled, whose working lives were dedicated to the support of each institution. The city became one of the most important centre of Buddhist learning.

Profile of Mt.Popa

popa6Mt. Popa is about 50km away from Bagan. It takes about 45 minutes drive from Nyaung Oo Airport, Bagan. Mt. Popa is an extinct volcano that is estimated to have erupted for the final time, over three hundred and twenty thousand years ago. However, popa’s attraction today lies not so much in its geological aspect, but more in its religious and mystical interests which are still prevalent. Popa is popularly recognized as an abode of many "Nats". H.L. Chhibber in his publication "The Igneous Rocks of the Mount Popa Region", described it as "being in all respects an ideal example of a recently extinct volcano, suitable for text-book illustration.
The main mountain originally had a circular crater, but the whole of the north-western side was blown away, probably by the final paroxysmal outburst, which suggests that the last eruption must have projected its discharge inclined to the sides of the volcano in that direction. The present mountain is, therefore shaped like a horse-shoe, and it is possible to walk into the crater through the breach in the northern wall."Although the mountain appears to be a single peak from a distance, it is in fact a series of peaks; the highest points being 4981, 4801 and 4501 feet above sealevel.
The main mass of Mt. Popa rests on a level plateau, roughly 1000 feet above the surrounding plains, and about 1800 feet above sealevel. The actual volcano rises about 3000 feet from this base. On the extremity of the south-western slopes lies the extremely precipitous isolated peak known as the "Taung-ga-Lat". Some believe that this could be part of the main volcano, that was blown apart and landed as though plugged at its present location. Others theorize that it represents the infilled neck or plug of a subsidiary volcano.
 

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Mergui Princess Cruise (1) is newly live aboard which can be accommodated maximum 6 passengers. All cabins onboard are air-conditioned and offering great sea view. She has one queen size bed and one bunk bed room with en suite bathroom are on the main deck and one twin bed room without en suite bathroom is on the upper deck.

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