Bagan cultural heritage zone, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was eerily empty due to the tight restriction period of the pandemic and it has now received about 450 pilgrims per day on average, according to Shwezigon Pagoda Board of Trustees.
Earlier, the historical temples in the ancient city were packed with a large number of pilgrims and tourists throughout the year. The temples and religious buildings in Bagan-NyaungU cultural zone were closed to contain the spread of coronavirus disease. Now, the temples are reopened between 9 am and 4 pm. About 450 pilgrims come to the zone per day in the weekdays, and more than 1,200 were seen at the weekends.
Over 1,000 visitors are seen in the famous historical temples of Bagan city; Shwezigon Pagoda, Lawkananda Pagoda, Tuyintaung Pagoda, Tantkyitaung Pagoda, Htilominlo Temple, Ananda Pagoda, Bu Pagoda, Thatbyinnyu Temple, Dhammayangyi Temple, Sulamani Temple, Payathonezu Temple, Mahabodhi Temple, Manuha Temple, Gawdawpalin Temple, Myazedi Temple, Nanpaya Temple, and other famous pagodas during the weekends, according to the board.
The pilgrims are registered on the data of the pagoda trustees’ board. The visitors must wear masks and wash hands, in line with health guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports, said U Tin Hla Oo, secretary of Trustees Board.
Earlier, during the high season from November to April, Bagan is packed with local pilgrims and tourists. They used to visit Bagan to observe the temples and stupas and view the sunset. The horse-riding businesses, motorcycle and electric bike rental businesses, hotels, motels, and guesthouses were earning well in the high season, along with souvenir businesses. Those businesses created jobs for residents.
The local tourism industry is battered by coronavirus pandemic and those engaged in local transport rental business (sidecar, boat, horse-riding, car, e-bike, cycle, motorcycle), hotels and guesthouses, restaurants and souvenir shops are suffering from this. The businesses relying on tourism are nearly closed amid coronavirus negative impacts.—GNLM (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)