Hema Goonatilake PhD (Lond)
Visiting Professor, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The intensive relations between Sri Lanka and Myanmar span over a period of 1000 years beginning with the emergence of the city of Bagan (written by British as Pagan) in the 11th century as the cradle of Burmese culture and civilization.
This ancient capital of Myanmar epitomizes one of the world’s greatest feats of building construction – greater than all of Europe’s cathedrals, the construction of which spread over nearly seven centuries whereas Bagan is home to 4,446 monuments built within a period of two and a half centuries, mostly within a period of 150 years. Bagan is a unique city encompassing approximately 40 square km. with a wide variety of religious buildings, some standing higher than 70 metres. Among these are 260 large monuments influenced by Sinhalese.