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In 1057 AD the city of Bagan (or "Pagan") sprang to life on the banks of the Ayeyarwady (or "Irrawaddy") river in what is now central Myanmar (formerly "Burma"). Bagan's rulers conscripted over 30,000 prisoners of war to build temples dedicated to the Buddha. Before the city was sacked in 1287 by the Mongols of Kublai Khan, over 2000 temples were built. Despite vandalism and numerous earthquakes that have at one time or another toppled nearly every structure in Bagan, the ancient city remains a fascinating place. Today, thousands of workers labor in the heat and humidity to return the city to its ancient glory.

Bagan temples (Myanmar/Burma) by Raymond Paynter
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