|Location||Sri Ksetra, Pyay District, Bago Region|
|Geographic coordinates||18°47′10″N95°17′08″E / 18.7861095°N 95.2855634°E Coordinates: 18°47′10″N95°17′08″E / 18.7861095°N 95.2855634°E|
Bawbawgyi Stupa (Burmese : ဘောဘောကြီးစေတီ) is a Buddhist stupa and one of the oldest Buddhist structures in the history of ancient edifices in Myanmar  , located in the Sri Ksetra Archaeological Zone north of the city of Pyay. The stupa was constructed during the Pyu period in the 5th century and is in excellent structural condition, having miraculously survived a number of major earthquakes over the preceding centuries. The history of this stupa is unknown since there were no stone inscription was found. 
Of uncertain age, the stupa was likely built between the 5th and the 6th centuries when the Pyu people commanded the circular city immediately to the north. Despite its antiquity, the pagoda is in excellent structural condition, having miraculously survived a number of major earthquakes over the preceding centuries.
Bagan is an ancient city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar. From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom, the first kingdom that unified the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. During the kingdom's height between the 11th and 13th centuries, 4,446 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of 3,822 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day.
A pagoda is a tiered tower with multiple eaves common to China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most often Buddhist but sometimes Taoist, and were often located in or near viharas. The pagoda traces its origins to the stupa of ancient India.
A stūpa is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics that is used as a place of meditation. A related architectural term is a chaitya, which is a prayer hall or temple containing a stupa.
Pyay is principal town of Pyay Township in the Bago Region in Myanmar. Pyay is located on the bank of the Irrawaddy River, 260 km (160 mi) north-west of Yangon. It is an important trade center for the Ayeyarwady Delta, Central and Upper Myanmar and the Rakhine (Arakan) State. The British Irrawaddy Flotilla Company established the current town in the late 19th century on the Irrawaddy as a transshipment point for cargo between Upper and Lower Burma.
The Shwedagon Pagoda, officially named Shwedagon Zedi Daw and also known as the Great Dagon Pagoda and the Golden Pagoda, is a gilded stupa located in Yangon, Myanmar.
The Pyu city states were a group of city-states that existed from c. 2nd century BCE to c. mid-11th century in present-day Upper Burma (Myanmar). The city-states were founded as part of the southward migration by the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu people, the earliest inhabitants of Burma of whom records are extant. The thousand-year period, often referred to as the Pyu millennium, linked the Bronze Age to the beginning of the classical states period when the Pagan Kingdom emerged in the late 9th century.
The Gawdawpalin Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Bagan, Myanmar. Construction of the pagoda began in 1203 during the reign of Sithu I (1174–1211) and completed on 26 March 1227 during the reign of Htilominlo (1211–1235). At 55 m (180 ft), Gawdawpalin Temple is the second tallest temple in Bagan. Similar in layout to the Thatbyinnyu Temple, the temple is two storeys tall, and contains three lower terraces and four upper terraces. The temple was heavily damaged during the 1975 earthquake and was reconstructed in following years.
The Shwezigon Pagoda or Shwezigon Paya is a Buddhist stupa located in Nyaung-U, Myanmar. A prototype of Burmese stupas, it consists of a circular gold leaf-gilded stupa surrounded by smaller temples and shrines. Construction of the Shwezigon Pagoda began during the reign of King Anawrahta, the founder of the Pagan Empire, in 1059–1060 and was completed in 1102, during the reign of his son King Kyansittha. Over the centuries the pagoda had been damaged by many earthquakes and other natural calamities, and has been refurbished several times. In recent renovations it has been covered by more than 30,000 copper plates. However, the lowest level terraces have remained as they were.
The Kingdom of Pagan was the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modern-day Burma (Myanmar). Pagan's 250-year rule over the Irrawaddy valley and its periphery laid the foundation for the ascent of Burmese language and culture, the spread of Burman ethnicity in Upper Burma, and the growth of Theravada Buddhism in Burma and in mainland Southeast Asia.
The most important places in Buddhism are located in the Gangetic plains of Northern India and Southern Nepal, in the area between New Delhi and Rajgir. This is the area where Gautama Buddha lived and taught, and the main churches connected to his life are now important places of pilgrimage for both Buddhists and Hindus. However, many countries that are or were predominantly Buddhist have shrines and places which can be visited as a pilgrimage.
The Pyu language is an extinct Sino-Tibetan language that was mainly spoken in what is now Myanmar in the first millennium CE. It was the vernacular of the Pyu city-states, which thrived between the second century BCE and the ninth century CE. Its usage declined starting in the late ninth century when the Bamar people of Nanzhao began to overtake the Pyu city-states. The language was still in use, at least in royal inscriptions of the Pagan Kingdom if not in popular vernacular, until the late twelfth century. It became extinct in the thirteenth century, completing the rise of the Burmese language, the language of the Pagan Kingdom, in Upper Burma, the former Pyu realm.
Hanlin is a village near Shwebo in the Sagaing Division of Myanmar. In the era of the Pyu city-states it was a city of considerable significance, possibly a local capital replacing Sri Ksetra. Today the modest village is noted for its hot springs and archaeological sites. Hanlin, Beikthano, and Sri Ksetra, the ancient cities of the Pyu Kingdom were built on the irrigated fields of the dry zone of the Ayeyawady River basin. They were inscribed by UNESCO on its List of World Heritage Sites in Southeast Asia in May 2014 for their archaeological heritage traced back more than 1,000 years to between 200 BC and 900 AD.
The prehistory of Burma (Myanmar) spanned hundreds of millennia to about 200 BCE. Archaeological evidence shows that the Homo erectus had lived in the region now known as Burma as early as 750,000 years ago, and the Homo sapiens about 11,000 BCE, in a Stone Age culture called the Anyathian. Named after the central dry zone sites where most of the early settlement finds are located, the Anyathian period was when plants and animals were first domesticated and polished stone tools appeared in Burma. Though these sites are situated in fertile areas, evidence shows these early people were not yet familiar with agricultural methods.
Beikthano situated in the irrigated Magway Region, near present-day Taungdwingyi. In the era of the Pyu city-states it was a city of considerable significance, possibly a local capital replacing Sri Ksetra. Today the modest village is noted for its hot springs and archaeological sites. Beikthano, Hanlin, and Sri Ksetra, the ancient cities of the Pyu Kingdom were built on the irrigated fields of the dry zone of the Ayeyawady River basin. They were inscribed by UNESCO on its List of World Heritage Sites in Southeast Asia in May 2014 for their archaeological heritage traced back more than 1,000 years to between 200 BC and 900 AD.
The Pyu script is a writing system used to write the Pyu language, an extinct Sino-Tibetan language that was mainly spoken in present-day central Burma. It was based on the Brahmi-based scripts of both north and south India. The best available evidence suggests that the Pyu script gradually developed between the 2nd and 6th centuries CE. The Pyu script's immediate precursor appears to be the Kadamba script of southwest India. The early period Pyu inscriptions always included interlinear Brahmi scripts. It was not until the 7th and 8th centuries that Sri Ksetra's inscriptions appeared all in the Pyu script, without any interlinear Brahmi.
Tagaung Kingdom was a Pyu city-state that existed in the first millennium CE. In 1832, the hitherto semi-legendary state was officially proclaimed the first kingdom of Burmese monarchy by Hmannan Yazawin, the Royal Chronicle of the Konbaung Dynasty. Hmannan adds that the "kingdom" was founded by Abhiyaza of the Sakya clan of the Buddha in 850 BCE, and that through Abiyaza, Burmese monarchs traced their lineage to the Buddha and the first Buddhist (mythical) king of the world Maha Sammata. Hmannan also introduces another Sakya prince Dazayaza who founded the second Tagaung dynasty c. 600 BCE. The narrative superseded then prevailing pre-Buddhist origin story in which the monarchy was founded by a descendant of a solar spirit and a dragon princess.
Sri Ksetra, located along the Irrawaddy River at present-day Hmawza, was once a prominent Pyu settlement. The Pyu occupied several sites across Upper Myanmar, with Sri Ksetra recorded as the largest, the city wall enclosing an area of 1,477 hectares, although a recent survey found it enclosed 1,857 hectares within its monumental brick walls, with an extramural area of a similar size, being the largest Southeast Asian city before Angkor times. Issues surrounding the dating of this site has meant the majority of material is dated between the seventh and ninth centuries AD, however recent scholarship suggests Pyu culture at Sri Ksetra was active centuries before this.
Thamoddarit was the legendary founder of Pagan Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar), who supposedly reigned from 107 to 152 CE. He was proclaimed as the founder of Pagan for the first time by Hmannan Yazawin, the Royal Chronicle of Konbaung Dynasty in 1832. The introduction of Thamoddarit, whose lineage Hmannan traces to the Sakya clan of the Buddha as the founder of Pagan, was part of the early Konbaung kings' efforts to move away from then prevailing pre-Buddhist origin narrative of the monarchy. Burmese chronicles down to the 18th century had traced to another legendary figure Pyusawhti, a descendant of a solar spirit and a dragon princess.
Early Pagan Kingdom was a city-state that existed in the first millennium CE before the emergence of Pagan Empire in the mid 11th century. The Burmese chronicles state that the "kingdom" was founded in the second century CE. The seat of power of the small kingdom was first located at Arimaddana, Thiri Pyissaya, and Tampawaddy until 849 CE when it was moved to Pagan (Bagan).
The architecture of Myanmar, in Southeast Asia, includes architectural styles which reflect the influence of neighboring and Western nations and modernization. The country's most prominent buildings include Buddhist pagodas, stupas and temples, British colonial buildings, and modern renovations and structures. Myanmar's traditional architecture is primarily used for worship, pilgrimage, storage of Buddhist relics, political activism and tourism.