Bagan is a historic royal city in Myanmar with over two thousand preserved sacred buildings made of brick. The lined area of temples spread over about 36 square kilometers in a quilted landscape and is one of the largest archaeological sites in Southeast Asia . Bagan is the current Mandalay Division , 155 km southwest of the city of Mandalay on the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy , midway between its source and it flows into the Indian Ocean.
The kingdom, whose dominion Bagan center for about 430 years was formed, the first unified kingdom in present-day Burma . The early history of Bagan is controversial in detail. Bagan was through its excellent location on the Irrawaddy , where the trade routes from China and India met, even the mid-9th Century to the central location Upper Burma, albeit before 11 Century disputes about the succession and dynastic change provoked a lot of periods of instability. The city was 849, king surrounded by a wall. Already at that time began the coming out of India Tantrism or Vajrayana Buddhism and the indigenous serpent cult mix. Near the old city wall, two closed-Indian settlements of Bengali immigrants from 9-10. Century excavated.
Like the rise so is the decline of the kingdom of Bagan is related to the combination of temporal and spiritual power. The cost of upkeep of temples and the staff were a reason for the weakening of the state. In addition to the tax exemption of temples and monasteries kept the middle of the twelfth century an increasing number governors in the conquered provinces of payable duties and removed from the state so that his financial base.
The Burmese had so weakened from the north on their territory urging Thai and Mongolian hardly oppose something. Narathihapate king (reigned 1256-1287) came into conflict with the dominated by the Mongol Yuan China . Before the army of the Mongol prince Kublai Khan in 1287 occupying the city, was torn down many of the rulers of Bagan temples for the establishment of a city wall. With the King’s flight from the Mongols, the myth of Bagan as a bridge between heaven and earth has been destroyed for good. The first of Bagan Empire ruled out from the southern foothills of the Himalayas and the Indian Ocean was divided for more than two centuries in many small states that are constantly fighting each other. Bagan was able to continue in the following centuries, not to its former glory as the capital.
Upper Burma led a precarious existence between the dominance of the Shan , who killed a king, for example, in 1299 Bagan, and tributary relations with China , Burma, while lower back under the rule of the Sun (with its capital at Pegu, today: Bago ) fell.
After the nomination of Bagan in June 2002 as a possible first World Heritage site in Burma by the UNESCO has the regime of the generals also be seen in an international context. UNESCO considers the already started and finished work of historic preservation point of view very critically. Therefore, it carries out pressure on the authorities in Burma. There was no official government response to the critics of the United Nations is in place. The talks in Pyinmana is in negotiations with the UN agency has a value in itself – regardless of their content. After years of isolation they may the conversations at home and successful diplomacy sell. Given the lack of cooperation from Burma’s regime, the objective of the United Nations to carry out conservation in Burma, according to UN guidelines, not enforceable in the short term. The negotiations started but the hope is to achieve long-term preservation of this world cultural heritage in Bagan.