Located about 5 miles to the east of the busy trade town Pyay which can be comfortably reached from Yangon in 5 hours by car travelling along 179 mile Yangon-Pyay highway, Thayekhittaya is the ancient capital that ruled in the area from the 5th to 9th centuries. Before flourishing Pagan empire era with four capitals and succession of 55 kings, this kingdom was where the Pagan pyu-bamars inherited the civilization of Buddhism. Thayekhittaya is the name in Myanmarization and its original name is Srik-shetra in Pali which means “The Fortunate Field.”
Thayekhittaya kingdom, ruled successively by 25 kings, authentically began to exist in before 5 BC and collapsed in around 96 AD according to the carbon tested results, archaeological discoveries and alphabetical evidences.
This ancient capital is surrounded by triple-decked walls and three moats with twelve gates. It is roughly circular in shape and about 9 miles in circumference. Within the capital is Palace site with a brick wall and a moat in rectangular enclosure. It is the largest old city among over four hundred old cities, inclduign about one hundred of Myanmar, in mainland Southeast Asia. Thayekhittaya kingdom was founded by King Duttabaung. Duttabaung is pyu king and son of Mahathambawa, a prince of Tagaung kingdom, and Beydaryi.
The remains of this huge city, the largest built by this civilisation, cover about 19 square kilometers and the best way to explore is by ox cart. Highlights of the city include the Bawbawgyi Pagoda, one of the oldest in the city; Leimyethna Pagoda with its ancient Buddha reliefs and the old city gate. The site is a mixture of overgrown bush and farmland; you are likely to be the only visitors here. The on-site museum contains objects discovered in the archaeological zone such as Hindu deities, Buddha images, jewellery, coins and bronze figurines of musicians and dancers. Thayekhittaya has been a place for intensive archaeological excavations and a number of valuable antiques, burial urns of kings and other findings have been yielded from the city. Some of them can be seen in the site museum at Hmawza village and some are at National Museum in Yangon.
Under a more comprehensive view, Thayekhittaya or Srishetra is more than a merely historical site four our Myanmar people. It not only yields historical facts but also really tells Burmese stories, civilization, pride and dignity.