Last month I was invited to Burma to participate in a conference sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Sitagu International Academy. I basically gave up attending conferences a decade ago but I decided to go to this one so that after it was finished I could spend some time at Pagan, Burma’s ancient capital. I had been there in 1973 and again in 1996 but it was mid-summer both times and I couldn’t see much through the sweat dripping into my eyes. As it happens, the conference turned out to be most worthwhile – well organized, excellent speakers, and interesting chats with the participants during the breaks. The Indian foreign minister attended the inaugural session, as did Burma’s vice president. I met my old philosophy teacher Asanga Tilakaratana, re-connected with Sara Shaw and her husband from Oxford, and with Bhante Dhammasami also from Oxford. I also met for the first time Dr. Panth, director of Nava Nalanda University. We found that we shared something of a passion for Buddhist historical topography, and he most generously gave me a replica seal from the ancient university. When we were at Pagan at the Ananda Temple he and I met the team from the Archaeological Survey of India who are doing major renovations to the temple and they gave us a complete overview of their work and showed us around. Anyway, apart from the conference, the highlights of the trip were the four days I spent in Pagan, my stay at Sagaing Hill, my visit to the great Maha Muni Temple in Mandalay where I was able to put gold leaf on the famous statue, and the delightful few evenings I spent at the magically beautiful Shwedagon Pagoda. Here are few of the pictures I took during my trip.