Burmese Pyu Kingdom Sri Ksetra and Beikthano also referred to as Panhtwa city or “City of Vishnu” was one of the first areas to be occupied by the Pyu people dating back to the birth of Christ. Artifacts, pottery, structural remains and inscriptions show that the Pyu occupied the area of Beikthano from 1 A.D. – 5 A.D.
Other main Pyu cities were Halin, Binnaka and Sri Ksetra. Bronze artifacts and funerary objects of the Pyu people have also been found as far north as Tagaung, north of Mandalay. Pyu art was influenced by their close connection with the Hindu and the Jain from Northern India. Some historians state that the the Pyu were the original builders of the oldest stupas’ in Pagan which were mostly cylindrical or bulbous in shape such as the Bupaya Pagoda on the banks of the Ayeyarwady.
The biggest and by far the most important Pyu site, Sri-ksetra, approximately 180 miles north west of Yangon was at its zenith between 5 A.D. and 9 A.D.
An abundance of architectural, sculptural and artistic remains of the Pyu Kingdom have been found in Sri Ksetra, in contrast with other Pyu sites, where very little evidence of their existence has been found.
Pyu bronzes, clay votive tablets, wall murals and other iconography that has been brought to light in Myanmar from the first current millennium indicating a strong Hindu/Indian influence, with a mix of Tantricism, Mahayana Buddhism, animist and Vaishnava worship. Theravada Buddhism is the dominant form of Buddhism practiced in Myanmar today and was introduced by Sri Lankan Monks during the reign of Burmese Pagan King Anawrahta (1014 – 1077 CE).