Ancient City in Myanmar – Sri Ksetra

We have written in previous articles that there were three prominent capitals of the Pyu people in Myanmar from the 1st century to the 9th century AD. These are Hanlin, Beikthno and Sri Ksetra.

Among the three ancient Pyu capitals, Sri Ksetra is the largest; the most magnificent According to the remaining evidence. Historians considered that it would have been the most populous and the most abundant religious buildings.

Location and History

The old city of Pyu area is about five miles to the south of Pyay, Bago division and It is located on the side of Pyay-Pauk Kaung road. There are 17 villages in the old city, including the village of Mawza. Sri Ksetra means “a city full of beauty and happiness”. Records mentioned that the old city was founded by King Dutta Pao and 27 dynasties ruled.

The shape of the old city of Sri Ksetra is not exactly circular shape and oval shap. The city wall is about 9 miles and has an area of ​​5.5 square miles. The city walls are still well preserved, and in some places, the city wall is surrounded by two layers or three layers.


Excavations included the city walls, moat, the palace, religious buildings and pagodas. Inscriptions buddha, Pyu period coins, breads were unearthed as well. What is special is that a mosque was excavated too in the ancient city. According to the ancient artifacts that have been excavated and the historical records from China, historians have determined that the old city of Sri Ksetra was the capital of the ancient Pyu people.

Coins from Pyu Civilization

Pyu history facts recorded from China

Chinese records written in the 4th century AD referred to the Pyu people as P’iao. Vishnu, the ancient city of Pyu, was contemporary with the Funan Empire, which was established by the Mon Khmer people in the Indo-China region. In 802 A.D., a group of artists led by a Pyu chief from Sri Ksetra went to China (T’ang) with 35 musicians.

The governor of Sichuan (Hsi-chuan), China, drew and recorded the 22 musical instruments brought by the group of artists, and recorded and wrote down the 12 Buddhist hymns they performed. Chinese recorded in their history that 22 kinds of Pyu instruments made with eight kinds of materials such as horns, leather, ivory, bamboo etc…. They also recorded the costumes of the Pyu artists.


Historians considered that the Pyu Kingdom was destroyed in AD 832 by the Nanchui attack.

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