Bagan, formerly Pagan, formally titled Arimaddanapura (the City of the Enemy Crusher) and also known as Tambadipa (the Land of Copper) or Tassadessa (the Parched Land), was the ancient capital of several ancient kingdoms in Myanmar. It is located in the dry central plains of the country, on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady River, 145 kilometres (90 miles) southwest of Mandalay.
The ruins of Bagan cover an area of 16 square miles. The majority of its buildings were built from the 1000’s to 1200’s, during the time Bagan was the capital of the First Burmese Empire.
It was not until King Pyinbya moved the capital to Bagan in 874 A.D that it became a major city. However, in Burmese tradition, the capital shifted with each reign, and thus Bagan was once again abandoned until the reign of Anawrahta.