Bagan dates back almost to the beginning of the Christian Era. It lies on the bend of the Ayeyarwaddy River. Bagan can be marked to have started with King Anawrahta. He ascended the throne of Bagan in 1044. At that time, the kingdom was under the Mahayana religion. After Shin Arahan's arrival to Bagan, it converted to Theravada Buddhism. It was said to be that each and every household was able to donate an enshrined Pagoda, because of their faith in Buddhism believe and also because of their wealth.
The great Shwezigon was one of King Anawrahta's donation during his time.