Pyu Ancient Cities – UNESCO Heritage in Myanmar



Pyu Ancient Cities includes the remains of three brick, walled and moated cities of Halin, Beikthano and Sri Ksetra. They reflect the Pyu Kingdoms that flourished for over 1,000 years between 200 BC and AD 900. The three cities are partly excavated archaeological sites. Remains include excavated palace citadels, burial grounds and manufacture sites, as well as monumental brick Buddhist stupas, partly standing walls and water management features – some still in use – that underpinned the organized intensive agriculture. In 2014, listed in UNESCO Heritage list.


Located in vast irrigated landscapes in the dry zone of the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River basin.

About Pyu Ancient Cities

1. The Pyu Ancient Cities provide the earliest testimony of the introduction of Buddhism into Southeast Asia almost two thousand years ago and the attendant economic, socio-political and cultural transformations which resulted in the rise of the first, largest, and longest-lived urbanized settlements of the region up until the 9th century.

2. These earliest Buddhist city-states played a seminal role in the process of transmitting the literary, architectural and ritual traditions of Pali-based Buddhism to other societies in the sub-region where they continue to be practiced up to the present.

3. Halin, Beikthano and Sri Ksetra together as a Serial Property jointly testify to the several aspects of the development of this new model of urban settlement for the Southeast Asian region. Together the three cities provide evidence for the entire sequence and range of Pyu urban transformation from ca. 2nd century BCE to the 9th century CE, Buddhist monastic communities, distinctive mortuary practice, skilful water management, and long distant trade.

4. Technological innovations in resource management, agriculture and manufacturing of brick and iron at the Pyu Ancient Cities created the preconditions leading to significant advances in urban planning and building construction. These innovations resulted in the rise of the three earliest, largest, and most long-lived Buddhist urban settlements in all of Southeast Asia. The Pyu cities’ urban morphology set a new template of extended urban format characterized by massive gated walls surrounded by moats; a network of roads and canals linking urban space within the walls with extensive areas of extramural development, containing civic amenities, monumental religious structures defined by towering stupas and sacred water bodies.

5. The authenticity of the Pyu Ancient Cities is to be found in the architectural form and design of unaltered and still-standing monumental structures and urban precincts.

Best Time to Visit

If you are planning a Travel to Myanmar then the best time to visit Myanmar is from November to February.


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