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Monuments Everywhere


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About 4400 temples were constructed at Bagan over the 230-year period which ended when Kublai Khan's Mongols overran the city in 1287. The number of temples remaining today is at least 2000 and if brick mounds are included the number may be as high as 4000. Most were relatively small stupas built by individual Buddhists to increase their merit in hopes of rising to a higher level in their next incarnation. From a high platform (such as Shwesandaw Paya where this photo was taken at sunset) many monuments are visible in every direction. At the city's peak most buildings were made of wood, so it is difficult now to visualize how the city looked. It is still an amazing sight.