The pre-conservation works must be conducted on some ancient pagodas of Bagan as the days of the heavy rain have caused the flood in Bagan ancient cultural zone in early September and some of the ancient buildings destroyed.
More than 3,000 ancient pagodas are concentrated in Bagan ancient cultural zone, which was named UNESCO World Heritage Site on 6 July 2019. Myanmar is the only country in the world to have more than 3,000 such ancient pagodas in one place. Bagan boasts of more than 400 famous pagodas that attract local and foreign visitors, and the ancient mural can be seen at one place and so it is a valuable ancient cultural heritage site not only for South-East Asia but also for the world.
“There was no flood in the ancient cultural zone since the Bagan period. The water entered into NyaungU. As the ancient pagodas were constructed on the bank of the Ayeyawady River, there would be a water outlet since the Bagan era. We can see them in the photos. The outlets lead to the Ayeyawady River are blocked and also the ones in the pagoda compounds are blocked. So, the flood occurs after heavy rainfall. It is just an alert that we should conduct pre-conservation works on the ageing pagodas not to occur damages for climate changes.
The Culamuni pagoda was constructed with the best architectural works and so it was not flooded. The water outlets are blocked and we can see the water on the pagoda. Then, the origin waterways are blocked and destroyed when the two-lane Suharto Road is constructed. We need to conduct conservation works as it is only one cultural zone with the ancient cultural heritage which cannot be never found in the world,” said Daw Ohnmar Myo, chair of Myanmar Archeology Association.
It should carry out the emergency conservation works and long-term sustainability of conservation efforts in the Bagan region. Most of Myanmar’s ancient heritages are located on the bank of the Ayeyawady River and so the region faces floods yearly like other countries. Therefore, the conversation of the Ayeyawady River, making water outlets in Bagan areas and preparations against climate changes can maintain the cultural heritage.
“Bagan is crowded with visitors in the beginning and end of Buddhist Lent. Some people visit here after the Bo Min Khaung festival at Popa this month. We got a lot of rain in the early month. Two pagodas collapsed due to the flood and the wall of Dhamma Yaza pagoda also collapsed. Such cases occurred more than 10 years ago. When the water outlets at the upper part of the pagodas are blocked, it can cause reservoirs and damage the pagodas. We need public participation in conserving our precious cultural heritages,” said U Tin Hla, member of Htee Lo Min Lo pagoda board of trustees.
There was continual rainfall in Bagan of NyaungU Township of Mandalay Region until 17 September and some of the pagoda walls collapsed at Bagan. Therefore, the conservation works should be conducted on the ancient pagodas in Bagan ancient cultural zone, UNESCO World Heritage Site.