Pyay or Prome
Driving from Yangon to Pyay or Pyu or Prome
is a smooth ride through immense tracts of paddy land interrupted by small streams and patches of water with leaves and flowers floating on the light blue surface.
The highland starts approximately 50 km south of Pyay with large amounts of freshly planted teak trees. There is a lot done in bringing up new forests since the most of the trees have been cut down in the past.
The road, which is quite new and real good, touches the Ayeyarwady or Irrawaddy river, we look down the high riverbanks, heavily clothed with foliage. The water sweeps in wide curves and the usual native crafts and dugouts are moored along the banks. Some fishermen try their luck out of the sandbanks where they build huts from palm leaves and work there between the periods of floods.
The fish they catch in the Ayeyarwady
has such a lot of small bones that it is a real pain to eat; the best is to make sure to get fish from the sea. Women are washing clothes, banging them on some stones again and again, after having done their work they slowly move into the river having a short swim and clean the body. In midstream wide teak rafts move slowly. Other rafts made of bamboo are carrying heavy logs, slung beneath since they won’t float due to their weight.
On the road to the ancient town of Prome or Pyay or Pyi in central Myanmar
Farmer in Pyay
Some early accounts of Sriksetra tells that there have been over a hundred Buddhist monasteries with courts and rooms with roofs from gold and silver, coated with cinnabar and plenty of colors. Rooms of the king’s residence were covered with embroidered rugs. Beans, paddy and millet were raised, a strange thing is definitely their laws, today records from that area contain no mention of punishment nor any kind of chains or torture.
Their way with criminals is, take fifty shoots of bamboo and bind them, if they repeat the crime, they beat their backs with five strokes. For light offences three strokes, murderers are put to death without long blab la and mo mercy. When boys and girls reached seven years their hair were shaven and they served some times in the monastery. Reaching the age of twenty and not opting for a stay in the monastery they let their hair grow again and become ordinary folk again.
Pyu stone urns
They lived in fortified walled towns supported by a rich agricultural environment. Their king had a splendid court with numerous wives and concubines and there was some classification of society according to wealth, business and position.
A system of justice was in place, like the Mon, they implemented laws according to the Buddhist faith
Archaeological excavations at Sriksetra have uncovered numerous votive tablets and Buddha statues of both Theravada and Mahayanist which suggest that they were familiar with both sects. Some Brahman images also indicate that some of the people were either Hindu or practiced rituals. The dead were cremated and the ashes placed in urns within the precincts of pagodas.
Huge inscribed stone urns were used for kings, gilded metal for the remains of priests and senior members of the royal family, and earthenware for commoners
To have a look to most interesting remains it needs is a short ride (about 8 km) to visit the ancient city of Thayeikhittaya or Sriksetra. Some records indicate that the ancient place was founded shortly after the great Buddhist Council, held in 443 B.C.
The remains (within a area of about 19 square km, totally embraced with a wall in ancient times) are hidden behind thickets of thorny bushes, small trees, toddy palms, cactus and beautiful white flowers. To explore the place it’s best to take a guide since the ruins are quite scattered around, and the museum, the main starting point for a walk around, is far.
Ancient Pyu built Srikshetra
the largest and most elaborated city built by the. It was the capital of the Pyu tribe from the fifth until the 15th. Century. It seems that the capital before was Beitthano near present day Magwe; excavations there are progressing now.
Anyway, not much is visible anymore some fragments of the palace wall, a collection of ancient relief’s, statues and other items dated mainly from the 15th Century are on display in the museum. There are plenty of other objects like Buddha statues and images, clay votive tablets, bronze figures of musicians and dancers, some coins and lots of other artwork rendered in different materials but mainly in stone.
To make the trip somehow efficient the best is to hire one of the persons from the museum to show the way around, they are the only one who really knows the area.
Exploring the place is done by walking only, passing small ponds by dusty walkways, sometimes heavy covered by foliage. Good high shoes are advisable (no sandals) since a snake and other small animals could be hidden somewhere.
Myanmar has the highest mortality in the world from snakebites. The two pagoda ruins are some of the better-preserved, built 15th. Century.
Prome or Pyay or Pyi plenty of other ancient objects like Buddha images Myanmar Burma
Pagoda Ruin 15 Century Myanmar Burma
Pagoda Ruins from the 15th. Century Myanmar