Sri Ksetra –  Ancient City Built Between First and Ninth Centuries

In the morning, we took a bus to Sri Kestra outside of Pyay.  Sri Ksetra is a World Heritage Site – it was once a prominent Pyu settlement.  Unfortunately, many of the sacred structures are deteriorating due to heavy rains and rising groundwater.

On the way, we did stop at the Phayagyi Stupa ( dome-shaped structure erected as a Buddhist shrine ) which dates from the 5th or 6th century. It is made from brick and mortar – 139 feet in circumference and 307 feet tall. Women are not allowed to walk on the upper levels.

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Phayagyi stupa

We continued on to the Sri Ksetra location.  Frankly, we didn’t see anything much but a wall of bricks, lots of land and two women planting rice in a rice field.  The most interesting were the workers in the rice paddy.

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Ancient wall of bricks
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The land around the brick wall
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I think the women are harvesting the rice plants

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Sri Ksetra Museum

After about a half hour, we went to the Sri Ksetra Museum to see the artifacts and some of the other 513 enshrined objects that were uncovered such as urns, Buddha image reliefs, artworks, gems, jewelry and more.  They were actually remodeling parts of the museum so we only saw one room.

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Here are a few photos of some of the objects I saw in the museum.

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Through the countryside to the lake and Cemetery

We left the museum and headed toward the countryside along winding roads to find the Beikthano excavated cemetery, also called burial terraces.  We had to stop several times to allow cars or other vehicles to pass us on the very narrow road.  We stopped first at a lake where you could see the Bawbawgyi pagoda in the distance.

This was an agricultural area and we saw many crops along the way. The plants on the top are a kind of squash.  Underneath is another crop which can be grown in the shade.

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Maybe Squash – my guide called them gourds
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The roof on this hut is made from dry leaves.
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Leaning house of Pyay
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We saw these big pots or urns used everywhere

We finally arrived at the lake and could see the pagoda in the distance.  It was a very rural countryside and we had fun taking photos.

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Bawbawgyi Pagoda seen in the distance
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Brahman cows mostly used as draft animals
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Grazing cattle near the lake
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All dressed up with matching outfits, this mother and daughter made a sweet photo

After a short time here at the lake, we headed for the Pyu burial site.  It consists of terracotta urns collected in a brick structure.

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Many terracotta burial urns could be seen

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This doggie was just sitting quietly outside the cemetery.
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We saw three ladies carrying farm goods on their heads – maybe betel leaves

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These goats didn’t want to move out of the way of our van.
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Ancient bridge – we stopped for a photo before driving back to the boat.

We arrived back at the boat and as soon as we were all aboard, it set sail for Thayet – where we had a morning excursion to a rural village.

 

 

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