Since the beginning of the Department of Archeology in Myanmar, ancient Pyu capitals have been excavated. The ancient Pyu capitals of Hanlin, Beikthano (Vishnu), Thaye Khittaya (Sri Ksetra) and Mai Maw started to flourish the urban culture starting since Iron Age. Now we will present about the Beikthano ancient city.
Beikthano Ancient City
The ancient city of Beikthano is located 12 miles west of Taungdonggyi township, Magway division. flourished in Myanmar between the 1st century BCE and the 5th century CE. It is irregular square shape and has an area of 3.3 square miles. About 2,500 years ago, ancient irrigation canals were built for agriculture in that city. Starting from rice, a variety of crops can be grown, so the flat land where the old city is located is an area that can maintain and feed a large number of people.
Excavation of the Beikthano Ancient city
Excavation began in 1905. The old Beikthano city wall, city entrance palace wall, palace buildings, Buddhist stupas, Religious buildings such as monasteries were found perfectly. Therefore, we were able to compare and study with other old Pyu cities. Therefore, we were able to compare and study with other old Pyu cities. In the excavated structures, a brick building with a circular foundation, built around a square brick frame, is similar to the pagoda in Taxila (now Pakistan) and Amaravati (Amaravati) region in southern India. But the statues and the relics were not found. Therefore, it is believed that Buddhist missionaries from sects that do not accept the worship of statues in southern India came to Beikhano to do the missionary work.
In 2014, Beikthano was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site along with the nearby Pyu cities of Halin and Sri Ksetra, recognizing its importance as a cultural and historical landmark.
Panhtwar Queen and Beikthano
If we talk about Vishnu, we can’t leave out Queen Panhtwar. Queen Panhtwar is famous for being very beautiful and is the queen who ruled the city of Vishnu alone. There is a brook that surrounds the city of Vishnu, and whenever the enemy attacks, when the big drum is played, water flows down into the stream and stops the enemy from advancing.
At that time, King Duttabaung, who was ruling the city of Sri Ksetra, was very powerful and heard about Queen Panhtwar, so he attacked the city of Vishnu and tried to seize Queen Panhtwar as his queen, but he was unsuccessful due to the power of her water attack. So he sent a spy disguised as a powerful hermit to destroy the drum. The spy hermit convinced the queen of Panhtwar and the people of Vishnu’s country, and destroyed the drum, so that when the great army of Sri Ksetra came to fight, the drum did not make a sound. When the water in Yangpai River did not flow, the attack was brutal.
In the end, the Vishnu city and the Queen fell under the rule of King Duttabaung.
It is said that the Queen of Panhtwar has not yet been freed from hatred. Locals say that the road to the old town is very haunted at night.