Shwegu

27

Nov
2021

Sri Ksetra (Thayekhittaya)

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The distinctively shaped stupas, dried-up moats, and earthworks in the fields a few miles east of the Ayeyarwady River at Pyay are all that remains of what was, 1,200 years ago, one of Asia’s grandest fortified settlements. Capital of the Pyu kings, Sri Ksetra (“City of  Splendor”), also known as Thayekhittaya, grew wealthy by con- trolling trade down the river and across the Bay of Bengal to India.  Between the 4th and 9th centuries, the walled town was known to travelers from as far afield as eastern China and India, and is thought to have been the largest in the country, supporting a population of thousands. No one is sure why Sri Ksetra went into decline (invasion by the Mon is the current theory) but by the 10th century it had been squarely eclipsed by Bagan. Today its ruins lie all but forgotten, visited by only a handful of foreigners each year.

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