There are plenty of stupas scattered around Sagaing Hill, which rise on the western bank of the Ayeyarwady River. Sagaing became capital of the independent Shan kingdom around 1,315, after the fall of Bagan had thrown central Myanmar into chaos. Its period of importance was short, for in 1364 the founder's grandson, Thadomyinphya, moved his capital across the river to Innwa. For four brief years, from 1760 to 1764, Sagaing was once again the capital, but its historic importance is comparatively minor.
Today, it is mostly known as a religious center that supports dozens of Buddhists monasteries and nunneries as well as a major monastic hospital. During the full moon of Tazaungmone (October/November), devotees from Mandalay and beyond flock to Sagaing to offer robes.