The twisty sandy paths that don't show up on the map

The ancient history preserved in the architecture of Bagan provides a unique insight into some of the country's modern political struggles. Throughout Burmese history, religion and rulers have been inextricably linked. The temples of Bagan were built as both religious and political seat for the conquering Buddhist kings who built one of the largest empires in Asian history. Kings ruled via their piety, and it was important to build a partnership with the ecclesiastic order. Now the political and religious orders are in strife. The current regime's claims towards religious validity are at odds with their actions. At Bagan, you can see the truth that the ancient Burmese builders tried to hide from: No regime lasts forever; the world goes on without us.

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