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Mysteries of Burma: Pagan

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Nick1986 View Drop Down
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Mysteries of Burma: Pagan
    Posted: 13-Jun-2012 at 20:14

These pagodas might be of interest to Sharwina
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  Quote Toltec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2012 at 08:44
Went there last year.
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  Quote Sidney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2012 at 14:52
What did you think about it? Enjoyable. Mysterious. Touristy?
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  Quote Toltec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2012 at 15:18
A bugger!
 
Can't fly to Mandalay, must go to Yangoon, it's then 15 hours on a bus to Mandalay, 6 hours from Mandalay to an interim town than another three to Bagan, all on decrepit Burmese buses.
 
When you get there it's hot, 45-50 degrees. It was abandoned by the locals just before the Mongols arrived. The Mongols took it then mysteriously didn't want to stay and left. It's considered a great historical mystery why the Mongols left the place so rapidly. If you have encountered the  overwhealming heat (and I lived in the hottest city in the world for 5 years) it's no surprise why these temperature climate horsemet left.
 
It is spread out over hundreds of square miles and the temples not a walkable distance from each other. The Burmese have a moronically braindead law, foreigners can't ride motorcycles in Bagan, (Burmese can) even as a passenger. So Burmese tourists hire motorcycle taxis who take them from site to site. Tourists are left with horse drawn cart taxis, common in most Burmese cities (in the countryside it's bufffalo cart taxis) except Yangoon and Mandalay, or hiring bicycles. I hired a bicycle as they are faster than horse drawn cart taxis, trouble is they are in such a poor state of repair they puncture ever 2-3 kilometres and strand you. There is no such thing as repairing a puncture, they just pump up the tired and it goes down again in an hour or two. All bicycle are hired out with existing slow punctures. Bagan is a nice place, but it is completely outclassed by Angkor, that coupled with the transport problems I'd say Angkor or even the Plain of Jars is a better spend till the Burmese government get a brain and amend the transport laws.


Edited by Toltec - 14-Jun-2012 at 15:24
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jun-2012 at 19:01
At its height, Pagan had over 10000 Buddhist temples. King Anawrahta was a follower of Therevada Buddhism and waged a war of conquest in the name of this peaceful religion
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2012 at 06:11
I think that the Mongols left a puppet government in charge. I'm not sure that was so unusual.
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2012 at 20:11
How did the kings of Pagan reconcile Buddhist Ahimsa with their own violent conquest? Did they only apply the teachings to fellow Buddhists, like the Christian kings crusading against non-believers?
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  Quote thihathu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Aug-2012 at 12:23
Bagan become Theravada Buddhists only after they conquered and annexed mon kingdom of Thaton (ancient mon kingdom in southern Myanmar claimed to be Shuvanabumi). Bagan was the first Burmese Empire that gave Burmese its identity. Bagan Era was the most peaceful in the history of Myanmar. Its kings were far less violent and less aggressive than later dynasties of Myanmar. Conquests only happened in initial foundation years starting with Thaton, Bago(Pegu) and minor tribes (eg. Thets) letting Bagan controlling central Myanmar plains and southern mon-inhabited areas. After that, border were almost unchanged throughout the whole era (over 200 years) till its  end by Mongol invasion.
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Aug-2012 at 19:35
Originally posted by thihathu

Bagan become Theravada Buddhists only after they conquered and annexed mon kingdom of Thaton (ancient mon kingdom in southern Myanmar claimed to be Shuvanabumi). Bagan was the first Burmese Empire that gave Burmese its identity. Bagan Era was the most peaceful in the history of Myanmar. Its kings were far less violent and less aggressive than later dynasties of Myanmar. Conquests only happened in initial foundation years starting with Thaton, Bago(Pegu) and minor tribes (eg. Thets) letting Bagan controlling central Myanmar plains and southern mon-inhabited areas. After that, border were almost unchanged throughout the whole era (over 200 years) till its  end by Mongol invasion.

I understand Pagan became a leading city for science and learning during this time. It attracted monks from India, Ceylon and Cambodia as well as a few Hindus and Muslims
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