91 ancient lakes of Bagan era under renovation

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One of the ancient lakes under renovation in the Bagan Ancient Cultural Heritage Zone. Photo: KANU

There are 106 ancient lakes in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bagan, and 91 of them have been renovated through two phases to explore the essence of the Bagan era.
Out of 106 lakes, 12 are located in monastery and pagoda compounds, and there is no need for them to be dug. The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation has conducted renovation works on Ahlenpya Lake, Ahlekan and Naung Lettaphet Lake, while the remaining 91 lakes are in progress.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture completed 100 per cent of the renovation works on Swaytaw Myotaw Lake between Culamani and Dhammayan, Shwe Htee lake in Taungbi village in the east of Bagan Hmyaw, Pyakyiswal Lake in East Phwasaw village and Zeebin lake in southwest of KazunO monastery, whereas Yaytaw Muni Lake and Thaesit Lake near Minnanthu village are still in progress.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation keeps doing the renovation works on three Mingala lakes in the northeast of Dhamma Yazaka pagoda – Moon Tain and Zayaweyi Lake in east Phwasaw village, and the Ministry of Border Affairs completed works on Myauktawet lake in the north of Myauktawet Pagoda. It is still working for Phyaukseikpin Lakes 1 and 2 and Phoethutaw Lake near Culamani Pagoda.
Officials supervise the plants Vachellia leucophloea, neem, Rain trees, and other plants below six feet high so as not to affect the ancient heritages in the Bagan cultural zone. Moreover, visitors to Bagan can breathe the past while seeing the ancient lakes of the Bagan era.
“Renovating the ancient lakes in the Bagan ancient cultural zone can contribute to the birds, biodiversity and drinking water, and it also fits with Myanmar cultural zone as a recreational site for local and foreign visitors. All the lakes in Bagan are historic. We dredge 91 lakes out of 106. Nyaung Lettaphet Lake, where tourists enjoy sunset views, is one of them. When the renovation works are completed, Bagan’s beauty can be modified more. The pagodas, temples, lakes, and toddy palm trees are Myanmar’s heritage from the Bagan era. It can see disappearing Myanmar heritage soon, and so the local and foreign travellers will be interested in it as a new tourist attraction of Bagan ancient cultural zone,” said U Myo Min Aung, assistant director of the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism (Bagan branch).
It is estimated that the lakes will be renovated in two phases, with 46 lakes in the first phase and 45 in the second phase. Of 46 lakes, 11 will be in the first phase, another 11 lakes in the second phase, 12 lakes in the third phase and another 12 lakes in the fourth phase. After that, 45 lakes will be in the second phase.
In addition to the lakes, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture renovated the moats, and it completed 20 per cent out of 30 per cent of dredging along the eastern moat. The soil test and HIA were conducted before the renovation works so as not to affect the ancient heritage. — Nyein Thu (MNA)/KTZH

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