The story behind Bagan is that the ruler of the area took to Buddhism in a huge way, some time around the 11th century and immediately decided that he wanted his capital city to become the religion’s principle city. So, over the following few centuries, there was almost constant construction of at least 3,300 known pagodas, temples and monasteries. The exact reason why construction suddenly halted and Bagan went into a crippling social and economic decline is lost to history. The place just suddenly all but vanished off the map, taking its amazing cultural heritage with it; storing it out of time. Now that it has returned to prominence, I feel that over 3,000 almost identical structures was perhaps overdoing it a touch.