Bagan in the Era of the Temple Builders
1057-1287 A.D.


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Although Bagan existed as a Pyu kingdom since the 2nd century A.D., it reached its zenith under the 42nd ruler, King Anawrata, and his successor Kyanzitha. From Anawrata's conquest of the Thaton (and his subsequent conversion to Theraveda Buddhism) in 1057 to the subjugation by the Mongols under Kublai Khan in 1287, Bagan embarked on a project of temple building on an unprecedented level. Over the course of those 230 years, over 13,000 individual temples (pathos), stupas (zedis) monasteries and libraries were constructed at the behest of Bagan's leaders. Today 2,000 of these monuments remain, and they are divided into three periods, each with a distinctive style of architecture:

  1. Early (850-1120 A.D.): Mon-style architecture
  2. Middle (1120-1170 A.D.): Bamar-style architecture
  3. Later (1170-1300 A.D.): Indian-style architecture