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The Culture of Beikthano(Vishnu)
- The Pyus, a Tibeto-Burman people, came down into Myanmar from the North-East and settled first at a site that would later be called Beikthano in Ayeyarwady valley. Beikthano developed gradually, from a small village to a city, in the course of successive stages of evolution. This complex development involved numerous inputs, from Indians, Khmers and Mons. Such inputs intertwined with the Pyus’ indigenous beliefs, customs and ways of life, formulating what would ultimately be known as the Pyus’ defining religious beliefs, arts and crafts, as well as trade, commerce patterns and techniques needed for the construction and building of cities. Beikthano located on trade routes between India and China, sustained trade relations with South and North India, Yunan, Funan and the Mon’s regions. These interactions enabled Beikthano to advance its economic fortunes. But such achievements were largely local in their broader impact. The weakness of the town rulers prevented them from consolidating neighboring villages, towns and city states into wider realms as would become the case later on in Myanmar’s history. Beikthano remained the target of frequent assaults from neighboring city states and other unions of the states. This was the case in the 3rd and early 5th centuries, when Beikthano experienced two great attacks from its neighbors. These attacks did not prove fatal, and Beikthano remained a significant site in the early historic development of the Pyus from the early first millennium A.D. well into the thirteenth century.