- Florian Grupp photography:
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Pagan: Burma's abandoned Buddhist kingdom
Pagan (pronounced, puh-gon) was once a thriving area for spiritual exertion and astounding devotion. Also called Bagan, this little known world heritage site near Mandalay, Burma has thousands on top of thousands of shrines, stupas, temples, and monasteries. They are preserved by the arid climate. Although the area was once a moist jungle, it was made desolate by the tearing down of its many trees to build scaffolding and armatures for the countless structures. Moreover, many trees were burned to supply the kilns to bake bricks for the construction. The Irrawaddy river meanders helplessly nearby (like the Kern). And the entire area is ringed by mountains. This makes it look like California's Central Valley, north of Los Angeles. But the Central Valley was converted by irrigation into one of the world's great food baskets.