Getting back into the history of the peoples of ASEAN by travel to historical sites to feel their spirits, we will know background in each country. Myanmar is a country with an ancient civilization that traditionally upheld for so long. Many historical sites are still preserved and turned into tourist attractions to let the world knows the identity of Myanmar through those places. Now, let’s get back to the original kingdom of Myanmar “Pyu Ancient Cities”, civilization along the Irrawaddy River, Myanmar’s first World Heritage Site.
Pyu Ancient Cities has been considered as the World Cultural Heritage in 2557 B.E., was located to the east of Pyay City, Myanmar, on almost all areas of the Irrawaddy River delta. Pyu Ancient Cities consisted of 3 cities: Sri Ksetra Ancient Cities, Peikthanomyo City and Halingyi city. They all were established in the same era as the fourth century and the residents were the first ancient races who settled inland before the Myanmar people, during the same period of Rakhine State. Because of its proximity to the sea, Pyu people considered Pyu Ancient Cities as a commercial center. A main occupation was agriculture. The settlement area was a plateau with the river. People know how to divert water from both the Irrawaddy River and the others. They built a reservoir to store water for use during the dry season. Then, Pyu people became more prosperous, they gathered together to build a large kingdom by the name “Sri Ksetra” which means land of good fortune.
Sri Ksetra Kingdom is very extensive empire, with almost all areas of the Irrawaddy River. Most of the empire architecture was influenced by Buddhism in India. There are not so much art works and architecture still remains to be seen. There are only the ruins of archaeological sites and the ancient city, waterway, walls, palace-fortress, Buddhist stupa and bronze sculptures of a group of musicians and dancers with the Indian civilization. There are also large bell shaped pagodas named Bobogi Pagoda and Pya Gi Pagoda that are prototypes of the pagoda in Myanmar until nowadays.
Sightseeing the ancient city to shoot the 2000 years old City “Sri Ksetra” that is currently ongoing excavations by archaeologists and officials from UNESCO would be impressive. Visitors are still not much because it is a new tourist attraction. But more interesting is that while you walk around you can see archaeologists working and you can ask for information to archaeologists as well. This is another attractive travel. Moreover, tourism can also walk around the nearby historic village to see the process of molding pottery. Most of the sculptures are similar to the ancient artifacts unearthed in archaeological site, Sri Ksetra.