The Watch

Sri-Ksetra Temples

near Pyay, Myanmar

2002 World Monuments Watch

The 1,500-year-old stupas and temples of Sri-Ksetra are among the earliest Buddhist monuments in the world. Built of brick, the stupas of Bawbawgyi and Phaya-mar and temples of Lemyet-nhar and Bebe were also among the first structures to employ a vaulted arch system, which later became prevalent in Myanmar and throughout Southeast Asia. Today, however, these ancient sacred structures are rapidly deteriorating due to heavy rains, which have caused cracks in the walls and upper portions of the monuments and eroded and loosened bricks within the arches, causing several of them to collapse. Destabilization of building foundations due to rising ground water has also caused several of the monuments to lean to one side. Site nominators are seeking technical assistance in the development of a long-term conservation plan and funds for its implementation.

Since the Watch

In 2014, Sri-Ksetra was inscribed on the World Heritage List as part of the Pyu Ancient Cities of Myanmar. A conservation management plan prepared for these three cities will protect Pyu’s cultural heritage, much of which comprises Buddhist structures like those at Sri-Ksetra. Meanwhile, a museum has opened containing relics from across the site.

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