Most tourists will say Bagan is their ideal travel destination but this could change within the next
few years as the newly recognized ‘Pyu’ cities attract interests from those who opt to travel back and see what’s remain of the glorious ancient cities of Myanmar.
Three Pyu cities, recognized by the World Heritage Committee as world’s heritage cit- ies – Beikthano, Hanlin and Sri Ksetra are all located in Myanmar’s central belt. The old- est documents of Pyu culture were found in Beikthano. This city’s form and style are im- portant for understanding Southeast Asia’s prehistory, although it shapes seems not to have been unique in this region. Ancient cit- ies of this format can also be found in Cam- bodia, Thailand and Indonesia. Their identi- fying features are a fortified main inner city, surrounded by an extended outer city area. Numerous ornament earthen beads, ear- rings and necklace were found in Beikthano.
Beikthano developed gradually, from a small village to a city, in the course of successive stages of evolution. Beikthano remained a significant site in the early historic develop- ment of the Pyus from the early thirteenth century. Beikthano is situated to the north of Kokkogwa , 16.09 kilometers on the north- west of Taungdwingyi, Magwe District. Oth- er Pyu cities include Hanlin, Sagaing Region, to the north of Beikthano and Sri Ksetra in Bago Region to its south. Beikthano is 101.2 meter high above sea level. The citadel area of Beikthano is situated just at the north- west of the city.
The large number of excavated brick mounds proves the presence of numerous brick mak- ing enterprises which would have been es- sential given the size of the city’s walls and the needs of palace construction. Brick mak- ing technology was likely an India import, carried by merchants and migrants. Beiktha- no’s largest brick sizes resemble those found at ancient India sites. Bricks with finger marked designs are found at Beikthano and other ancient Myanmar. The excavated pot- tery evidence Beikthano has been grouped into five categories-funerary urns, storage jars and cooking pots, eating bowls and drinking cups. The urns category also covers alms bowls, water pots, cylindrical vessels and gourd-shaped ones. Pottery was made from clay silver and silver alloy symbolic coins known as Pyu coins, have been recov- ered in Beikthano and other first millennium sites in Myanmar.
As more tourists pour into Myanmar, the sur- rounding areas of these three Pyu ancient cit- ies could become the major tourism sites. Now the places near the Pyu ancient cities are expe- riencing steadily higher values within months after adding into world’s heritage cities.