Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Burma (Myanmar). From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. During the kingdom's height between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 2200 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day.
The Bagan Archaeological Zone is a main draw for the country's nascent tourism industry. It is seen by many as equal in attraction to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.Bagan is the present-day standard Burmese pronunciation of the Burmese word Pugan , derived from Old Burmese Pukam . Its classical Pali name is Arimaddana-pura , lit. "the City that Tramples on Enemies"). Its other names in Pali are in reference to its extreme dry zone climate: Tattadesa , and Tampadipa. The Burmese chronicles also report other classical names of Thiri Pyissaya and Tampawaddy.
The Bagan Archaeological Zone, defined as the 13 x 8 km area centered around Old Bagan, consisting of Nyaung U in the north and New Bagan in the south, lies in the vast expanse of plains in Upper Burma on the bend of the Irrawaddy river. It is located 290 kilometres (180 mi) southwest of Mandalay and 700 kilometres (430 mi) north of Yangon. Its coordinates are 21°10' North and 94°52' East.
Bagan lies in the middle of the "dry zone" of Burma, the region roughly between Shwebo in the north and Pyay in the south. Unlike the coastal regions of the country which receive annual monsoon rainfalls exceeding 2500 mm, the dry zone gets little precipitation as it is sheltered from the rain by the Rakhine Yoma mountain range in the west. The average temperatures at Bagan exceed 30°C year round, and over 35°C in summer months of late February to mid May.