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Anawrahta
Anawrahta
Minsaw (Burmese: အနော်ရထာ မင်းစော, pronounced [ʔənɔ̀jətʰà mɪ́ɴ sɔ́]; 11 May 1014 – 11 April 1077) was the founder of the Pagan Empire. Considered the father of the Burmese nation, Anawrahta
Anawrahta
turned a small principality in the dry zone of Upper Burma
Burma
into the first Burmese Empire that formed the basis of modern-day Burma (Myanmar).[2][3] Historically verifiable Burmese history
Burmese history
begins with his accession to the Pagan throne in 1044.[4] Anawrahta
Anawrahta
unified the entire Irrawaddy valley for the first time in history, and placed peripheral regions such as the Shan States
Shan States
and Arakan (Northern Rakhine) under Pagan's suzerainty. He successfully stopped the advance of Khmer Empire
Khmer Empire
into Tenasserim coastline and into Upper Menam
Menam
valley, making Pagan one of two main kingdoms in mainland Southeast Asia. A strict disciplinarian, Anawrahta
Anawrahta
implemented a series of key social, religious and economic reforms that would have a lasting impact in Burmese history. His social and religious reforms later developed into the modern-day Burmese culture. By building a series of weirs, he turned parched, arid regions around Pagan into the main rice granaries of Upper Burma, giving Upper Burma
Burma
an enduring economic base from which to dominate the Irrawaddy valley and its periphery in the following centuries. He bequeathed a strong administrative system that all later Pagan kings followed until the dynasty's fall in 1287. The success and longevity of Pagan's dominance over the Irrawaddy valley laid the foundation for the ascent of Burmese language
Burmese language
and culture, the spread of Burman ethnicity in Upper Burma. Anawrahta's legacy went far beyond the borders of modern Burma. His embrace of Theravada Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism
and his success in stopping the advance of Khmer Empire, a Hindu
Hindu
state, provided the Buddhist school, which had been in retreat elsewhere in South and Southeast Asia, a much needed reprieve and a safe shelter. He helped restart Theravada Buddhism in Ceylon, the Buddhist school's original home. The success of Pagan dynasty
Pagan dynasty
made Theravada Buddhism's later growth in Lan Na (northern Thailand), Siam (central Thailand), Lan Xang
Lan Xang
(Laos), and Khmer Empire
Khmer Empire
(Cambodia) in the 13th and 14th centuries possible. Anawrahta
Anawrahta
is one of the most famous kings in Burmese history. His life stories (legends) are a staple of Burmese folklore and retold in popular literature and theater.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Accession 3 Early reign: Consolidation of Central Burma

3.1 Economic reforms 3.2 Military organization

4 Founding of Pagan Empire

4.1 Shan Hills 4.2 Lower Burma 4.3 Arakan 4.4 Pateikkaya

5 External relations

5.1 Khmer Empire 5.2 Nanzhao Kingdom 5.3 Ceylon

6 Administration

6.1 Nation-building 6.2 Religious reforms 6.3 Invention of Burmese script 6.4 Governing style

7 Death 8 Legacy 9 In popular culture 10 Commemorations 11 Notes 12 References 13 Bibliography

Early life[edit]

Prior to Anawrahta, of all the early Pagan kings, only Nyaung-u Sawrahan's reign can be verified independently by stone inscriptions. Anawrahta
Anawrahta
is the first historical king in that the events during his reign can be verified by stone inscriptions. However, Anawrahta's youth, like much of early Pagan history, is still shrouded in legend, and should be treated as such.[5][6]

Anawrahta
Anawrahta
was born Min Saw (မင်းစော, IPA: [mɪ́ɴ sɔ́]) to King Kunhsaw Kyaunghpyu
Kunhsaw Kyaunghpyu
and Queen Myauk Pyinthe on 11 May 1044.[note 1] The Burmese chronicles
Burmese chronicles
do not agree on the dates regarding his life and reign.[7] The table below lists the dates given by the four main chronicles. Among the chronicles, scholarship usually accepts Zata's dates, which are considered to be the most accurate for the Pagan period.[note 2] Scholarship's dates for Anawrahta's birth, death and reign dates are closest to Zata's dates.

Chronicles Birth–Death Age Reign Length of reign

Zatadawbon Yazawin 1014/15–1077/78[note 3] 62 1044/45–1077/78 33

Maha Yazawin 970/71–1035/36 65 1002/03–1035/36 33

Yazawin Thit and Hmannan Yazawin 985/86–March 1060 74 13 January 1018–March 1060[note 4] 42

Scholarship 11 May 1014 – 11 April 1077 62 11 August 1044 – 11 April 1077 32

In 1021, when Min Saw was about six years old, his father was deposed by his step-brothers Kyiso
Kyiso
and Sokkate.[note 5] His father had been a usurper of the Pagan throne, who overthrew King Nyaung-u Sawrahan two decades earlier.[note 6] Kunhsaw then married three of Nyaung-u's chief queens, two of whom were pregnant at the time, and subsequently gave birth to Kyiso
Kyiso
and Sokkate. Kunhsaw had raised Sokkate and Kyiso as his own sons. After the putsch, Kyiso
Kyiso
became king and Sokkate became heir-apparent. They forced their step-father to a local monastery, where Kunhsaw would live as a monk for the remainder of his life.[8] Min Saw grew up in the shadow of his two step-brothers, who viewed Min Saw as their youngest brother and allowed him to retain his princely status at the court. Min Saw and his mother attended Kunhsaw, and lived nearby the monastery.[8] In 1038, Kyiso
Kyiso
died, and was succeeded by Sokkate.[note 7] Min Saw was loyal to the new king. He took wives, and had at least two sons ( Saw Lu and Kyansittha) by the early 1040s. Accession[edit]

Statue of Anawrahta
Anawrahta
in front of the DSA

In 1044 however, Min Saw raised a rebellion at nearby Mount Popa, and challenged Sokkate to single combat. According to the chronicles, the reason for his uprising was that Sokkate had just raised Min Saw's mother as queen. Sokkate is said to have addressed Min Saw as brother-son, which the latter took great offense. Sokkate accepted the challenge to single combat on horseback. On 11 August 1044, Min Saw slew Sokkate at Myinkaba, near Pagan.[note 8] The king and his horse both fell into the river nearby.[9] Min Saw first offered the throne to his father. The former king, who had long been a monk, refused. On 16 December 1044, Min Saw ascended the throne with the title of Anawrahta, a Burmanized form of Sanskrit name Aniruddha
Aniruddha
(अनिरुद्ध).[note 9] His full royal style was Maha Yaza Thiri Aniruddha
Aniruddha
Dewa (မဟာ ရာဇာ သီရိ အနိရုဒ္ဓ ဒေဝ; Sanskrit: Mahā Rājā Śrī Aniruddha
Aniruddha
Devá). Burmese history
Burmese history
now begins to be less conjectural.[10][11] Early reign: Consolidation of Central Burma[edit]

Principality of Pagan at Anawrahta's accession in 1044

In the beginning, Anawrahta's principality was a small area—barely 200 miles north to south and about 80 miles from east to west, comprising roughly the present districts of Mandalay, Meiktila, Myingyan, Kyaukse, Yamethin, Magwe, Sagaing
Sagaing
and Katha east of the Irrawaddy, and the riverine portions of Minbu
Minbu
and Pakkoku. To the north lay Nanzhao Kingdom, and to the east still largely uninhibited Shan Hills, to the south and the west the Pyus, and farther south still, the Mons.[12] Economic reforms[edit] Anawrahta's first acts as king were to organize his kingdom. He graded every town and village according to the levy it could raise. He made great efforts to turn the arid parched lands of central Burma
Burma
into a rice granary. He constructed the irrigation system,[13] which is still used in Upper Burma
Burma
today. He repaired the Meiktila
Meiktila
Lake, and successfully built four weirs and canals (Kinda, Nga Laingzin, Pyaungbya, Kume) on the Panlaung river, and three weirs (Nwadet, Kunhse, Nga Pyaung) on the Zawgyi. (He also tried to control the Myitnge river
Myitnge river
but failed despite all his efforts. The work lasted three years and there were many casualties from fever.) He peopled the newly developed areas with villages, which under royal officers served the canals. The region, known as Ledwin (lit. the rice country) became the granary, the economic key of the north country. History shows that one who gained control of Kyaukse
Kyaukse
became kingmaker in Upper Burma.[12] Military organization[edit] Anawrahta
Anawrahta
organized Pagan's military. His key men—known as the Four Great Paladins in Burmese history—were:[14]

Kyansittha, his son and lead general Nyaung-U
Nyaung-U
Hpi, known as the great swimmer from Nyaung-U Nga Htwe Yu, former toddy tree climber from Myinmu
Myinmu
(near Sagaing) Nga Lon Letpe, former farmer from near Mount Popa

Also at his service were Byatta (ဗျတ္တ), a Muslim
Muslim
(likely an Arab seaman) shipwrecked at Thaton, and his sons Shwe Hpyin Gyi and Shwe Hpyin Nge, (who later entered the pantheon of Burmese spirits as Shwe Hpyin Brothers ရွှေဖျဉ်းညီနောင်). Founding of Pagan Empire[edit]

Pagan Empire, estimated by GE Harvey

By the mid-1050s, Anawrahta's reforms had turned Pagan into a regional power, and he looked to expand. Over the next ten years, he founded the Pagan Empire, the Irrawaddy valley at the core, surrounded by tributary kingdoms.[15]

Estimates of the extent of his empire vary greatly. The Burmese and Thai chronicles report an empire which covered the present-day Burma and northern Thailand. The Thai chronicles assert that Anawrahta conquered the entire Menam
Menam
valley, and received tribute from the Khmer king. One states that Anawrahta's armies invaded the Khmer kingdom and sacked the city of Angkor, and another one goes so far as to say that Anawrahta
Anawrahta
even visited Java to receive his tribute.[15] However, Western historians (Harvey, Hall, et al) present a much smaller empire, consisted of the Irrawaddy valley and nearer periphery. His victory terracotta votive tablets (emblazoned with his name in Sanskrit) have been found along the Tenasserim coastline in the south, Katha in the north, Thazi in the east and Minbu
Minbu
in the west.[16]

Shan Hills[edit] His first efforts were in then lightly inhabited Shan Hills
Shan Hills
in the east and the north. He acquired allegiance of Shan Hills
Shan Hills
in two waves. In the early to mid-1050s, Anawrahta
Anawrahta
first visited the nearer Shan Hills in the east, and received tribute. He founded the Bawrithat Pagoda in Nyaungshwe. The second wave came in the late 1050s and early 1060s after his march to Nanzhao Kingdom. After his return from Nanzhao expedition, Shan chiefs along the route presented Anawrahta with tributes. Still, their allegiance was nominal and he had to establish 43 forts along the eastern foothills of which the following 33 still exist as villages.[17]

Bhamo Katha Kyaukse Meiktila Mogok Mandalay Toungoo Yamethin

Kaungton Kaungsin Shwegu

Yinkhe Moda Katha Htigyaing

Mekkaya Ta On Myinsaing Myittha

Hlaingdet Thagaya Nyaungyan

Myadaung Tagaung Hinthamaw Kyanhnyat Sampanago

Singu Konthaya Magwe Taya Yenantha Sonmyo Madaya Thakegyin Wayindok Taungbyon Myodin

Myohla Kelin Swa

Shwemyo

The 43 forts were established per the royal order issued 7 February 1061 (12th waxing of Tabaung 422 ME).[18] Lower Burma[edit] After his first Shan campaign, Anawrahta
Anawrahta
turned to the Mon-speaking kingdoms in the south, which like Pagan were merely large city-states in reality. He first received submission of the ruler of Pegu
Pegu
(Bago). But the Thaton
Thaton
Kingdom refused to submit. Anawrahta's armies, led by the "Four Paladins", invaded the southern kingdom in early 1057. After a 3-months' siege of the city of Thaton, on 17 May 1057, (11th waxing of Nayon, 419 ME), the Pagan forces conquered the city.[19] According to Burmese and Mon traditions, Anawrahta's main reason for the invasion was Thaton
Thaton
king Manuha's refusal to give him a copy of the Theravada Buddhist Canon. ( Anawrahta
Anawrahta
had been converted to Theravada Buddhism from his native Ari Buddhism
Ari Buddhism
by Shin Arahan, a monk originally from Thaton.) In reality, it was merely a demand for submission couched in diplomatic language,[20] and the real aim of his conquest of Thaton
Thaton
was to check the Khmer Empire's conquests in the Chao Phraya basin and encroachment into the Tenasserim coast.[21][22] The conquest of Thaton
Thaton
is seen as the turning point in Burmese history. Still according to traditional reconstruction, Anawrahta brought back over 30,000 people, many of them artisans and craftsmen to Pagan. These captives formed a community that later helped build thousands of monuments at Pagan, the remains of which today rival the splendors of Angkor
Angkor
Wat.[23] More recent research by historian Michael Aung-Thwin[24] has argued forcefully that Thaton's contributions to the cultural transformation of Upper Burma
Burma
is a post-Pagan legend without contemporary evidence, that Lower Burma
Burma
in fact lacked a substantial independent polity prior to Pagan's expansion, and that Mon influence on the interior is greatly exaggerated. Possibly in this period, the delta sedimentation—which now extends the coastline by three miles a century—remained insufficient, and the sea still reached too far inland, to support a population even as large as the modest population of the late precolonial era.[21] At any rate, during the 11th century, Pagan established its Lower Burma
Burma
and this conquest facilitated growing cultural exchange, if not with local Mons, then with India and with Theravada stronghold Ceylon (Sri Lanka).[21][22] Arakan[edit] Anawrahta's next conquest was north Arakan (Rakhine). He marched over the pass from Ngape near Minbu
Minbu
to An in Kyaukphyu, and then laid siege to Pyinsa, then the capital of Arakan. He reportedly tried to bring home the giant Mahamuni Buddha
Mahamuni Buddha
but could not. He did take away the gold and silver vessels of the shrine.[25] There is no single unified Arakanese account to corroborate the event. Surviving Arakanese chronicles (from the 18th and 19th centuries) mention at least two separate raids from the east, as well as "visits" by Anawrahta
Anawrahta
and Kyansittha. According to the Arakanese accounts, the attacks from the east ousted kings Pe Byu and Nga Ton in succession. However, the dates are off by centuries with the ousted kings having reigned in the late 8th to early 9th centuries, 10th to 11th, or 11th to 12th centuries.[note 10] At any rate, as was the case with the Shan Hills, Anawrahta's suzerainty over north Arakan (separated by the Arakan Yoma
Arakan Yoma
range) was nominal. The "conquest" may have been more of a raid to prevent Arakanese raids into Burma,[25] and some historians (Lieberman, Charney) do not believe he (or any other Pagan kings) had any "effective authority" over Arakan.[26] If Pagan never established an administrative system to govern Arakan, it continued to foster a vassal relationship for the remainder of Pagan dynasty, occasionally placing its nominees to the Arakanese throne. Moreover, the Burmese language and script came to dominate the Arakan littoral over the next centuries. With Burmese influence came ties to Ceylon
Ceylon
(Sri Lanka) and the gradual prominence of Theravada Buddhism.[27] Pateikkaya[edit] Anawrahta
Anawrahta
also received tribute from the Buddhist kingdom of Pateikkaya (ပဋိက္ခယား, IPA: [bədeiʔ kʰəjá]). The location of the small kingdom remains in dispute. The Burmese chronicles
Burmese chronicles
report the location as northwest of Arakan and its kings Indian.[28] But British historian GE Harvey reckoned that it was more likely nearer to the eastern Chin Hills.[29] External relations[edit] As his kingdom expanded, Anawrahta
Anawrahta
came into contact with the Nanzhao Kingdom (the erstwhile home of the Burmans) in the northeast, and in the southeast, the Khmer Empire, the main power of mainland Southeast Asia at the time. He assisted fellow Theravada Buddhist Ceylon
Ceylon
in its war against Hindu
Hindu
Chola invaders. Khmer Empire[edit] Pagan's conquest of Thaton
Thaton
shook the Mon world. Anawrahta
Anawrahta
also demanded tribute from other neighboring Mon Kingdoms, Haripunjaya and Dvaravati
Dvaravati
(in present-day northern and central Thailand). Haripunjaya reportedly sent in tribute but Dvaravati's overlord Khmer Empire instead invaded Tenasserim. Anawrahta
Anawrahta
sent his armies, again led by the four paladins, who repulsed the invaders. The Burmese chronicles referred to the Kingdom of Cambodia
Cambodia
as the southeastern limit of the Pagan Empire.[20] Nanzhao Kingdom[edit] After the Khmer advance was checked, Anawrahta
Anawrahta
turned his attention toward Nanzhao. Anawrahta
Anawrahta
led a campaign against the kingdom in the northeast. (According to a mid-17th century source, he began the march on 16 December 1757.)[note 11] He advanced to Dali, the capital of Nanzhao Kingdom, ostensibly to seek a Buddha's tooth relic. As in the case of the request for the scriptures from Thaton, it was really a demand for tribute. The ruler of Nanzhao shut the gates, and would not give up the relic. After a long pause, two kings exchanged presents and conversed amicably. The Nanzhao ruler gave Anawrahta
Anawrahta
a jade image which had come into contact with the tooth.[28] Ceylon[edit] In 1069, Vijayabahu I of Ceylon
Ceylon
asked Anawrahta
Anawrahta
for aid against the Chola invaders from Tamil country. Anawrahta
Anawrahta
sent ships of supplies in aid of Buddhist Ceylon.[28][30] In 1071, Vijayabahu who had defeated the Cholas asked Anawrahta
Anawrahta
for scriptures and monks. The Chola invasions had left the original home of Theravada Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism
with so few monks that it was hard to convene a chapter and make valid ordinations. Anawrahta
Anawrahta
sent the monks and scriptures, and a white elephant as present for Vijayabahu. The Burmese monks ordained or re-ordained the entire clergy of the island. In return, the Ceylonese king gave a replica of the Buddha Tooth of which Ceylon
Ceylon
was the proud possessor. The replica was then enshrined in the Lawkananda Pagoda
Lawkananda Pagoda
in Pagan.[28][31] Administration[edit] Nation-building[edit] The greatest achievement of Anawrahta
Anawrahta
was his consolidation of various ethnic groups into a single nation. He was careful that his own people, the Burmans, not flaunt themselves before other peoples. He continued to show regard for the Pyus, who had recently fallen from greatness. He retained the name Pyu
Pyu
for his kingdom although it was under the leadership of the Burmans. He showed regard for the Mons, and encouraged his people to learn from the Mons.[28] Anawrahta
Anawrahta
replaced the kings of Lower Burma
Burma
( Pegu
Pegu
and Thaton) with governors. At Pegu, he allowed the king of Pegu
Pegu
to remain as a vassal king in appreciation of the latter's help in Anawrahta's conquest of Thaton. But after the vassal king's death, he appointed a governor. Due to geographical distances, other tributary areas such as Arakan and Shan Hills
Shan Hills
were allowed to retain hereditary chieftainships.[28] Religious reforms[edit]

Shwezigon Pagoda in Nyaung-U

In 1056, a Mon Theravada Buddhist monk named Shin Arahan
Shin Arahan
made a fateful visit to Pagan, and converted its king Anawrahta
Anawrahta
to Theravada Buddhism from his native Ari Buddhism. The king had been dissatisfied with the enormous power of Ari monks over the people, and considered the monks, who ate evening meals, drank liquor, presided over animal sacrifices, and enjoyed a form of ius primae noctis,[32] depraved. In Theravada Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism
he found a substitute to break the power of the clergy.[33] From 1056 onwards, Anawrahta
Anawrahta
implemented a series of religious reforms throughout his kingdom. His reforms gained steam after his conquest of Thaton, which brought much needed scriptures and clergy from the vanquished kingdom.[34] He broke the power of the Ari monks first by declaring that his court would no longer heed if people ceased to yield their children to the priests. Those who were in bondage of the priests gained freedom. Some of the monks simply disrobed or followed the new way. But the majority of the monks who had wielded power for so long would not go down easily. Anawrahta
Anawrahta
banished them in numbers; many of them fled to Popa Hill and the Shan Hills.[17] He used traditional nat spirits to attract people to his new religion. Asked why he allowed the nats to be placed in Buddhist temples and pagodas, Anawrahta
Anawrahta
answered "Men will not come for the sake of new faith. Let them come for their old gods, and gradually they will be won over."[35] Urged on by Shin Arahan, Anawrahta
Anawrahta
tried to reform the very Theravada Buddhism he received from Thaton, which by most accounts, was in a state of decay, and increasingly influenced by Hinduism. (The Mon chronicles hint that Manuha was reprehensible for making a compromise with Hinduism. Shin Arahan
Shin Arahan
left Thaton
Thaton
because he was unhappy with the decaying of Buddhism there.) He made Pagan a center of Theravada learning by inviting scholars from the Mon lands, Ceylon
Ceylon
as well as from India where a dying Buddhism was being given a coup de grace by Muslim
Muslim
conquerors. The scholarship helped revitalize a more orthodox form of Theravada Buddhism.[36] To be sure, his reforms could not and did not achieve everything overnight. The spread of Theravada Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism
in Upper Burma
Burma
was gradual; it took over three centuries. Its monastic system did not achieve widespread village level penetration in more remote areas until as late as 19th century. Nor did the Aris die out. Their descendants, known as forest dwelling monks, remained a powerful force patronized by the royalty down to the Ava period in the 16th century. Likewise, the nat worship continued (down to the present day). Even the Theravada Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism
of Anawrahta, Kyansittha
Kyansittha
and Manuha was one still strongly influenced by Hinduism when compared to later more orthodox (18th and 19th century) standards. Tantric, Saivite, and Vaishnava
Vaishnava
elements enjoyed greater elite influence than they would later do, reflecting both the relative immaturity of early Burmese literacy culture and its indiscriminate receptivity to non-Burman traditions. Indeed, even today's Burmese Buddhism
Burmese Buddhism
contains many animist, Mahayana Buddhist and Hindu
Hindu
elements.[32] Nevertheless, Theravada Buddhism, however unorthodox it might have been by latter day standards, did find a home in Anawrahta's royal patronage. His reforms made the later growth of Theravada Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism
in Burma
Burma
and mainland Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
possible. He was the first of the "Temple Builders" of Pagan. His chief monument was the Shwezigon Pagoda. The work began in 1059 but was still unfinished at his death 18 years later. He also built the Shwesandaw Pagoda south of Pagan to house the hair relics presented by Pegu. Farther afield, he built other pagodas such as Shweyinhmyaw, Shwegu and Shwezigon near Meiktila.[35] Invention of Burmese script[edit] Scholarship believed until recently that Anawrahta
Anawrahta
commissioned the invention of the Burmese script
Burmese script
based on the Mon script, c. 1058, a year after the Thaton
Thaton
conquest.[37] However, recent research finds that the Burmese script
Burmese script
had been in use at least since 1035, and if an 18th-century recast inscription is permissible as evidence, since 984 CE.[38] Governing style[edit] Anawrahta
Anawrahta
was an energetic king who implemented many profound enduring political, socioeconomic and cultural changes. He was admired and feared but not loved by his subjects. Historian Htin Aung
Htin Aung
writes:

Anawrahta
Anawrahta
was ruthless and stern not to any particular ethnic group but to all his subjects, for he felt that harsh measures were needed in building up a new nation. He never accepted the cult of the god-king, and he was impatient even with gods that his people worshipped; men came to say that he beat up gods with the flat of his lance. He achieved his aims but only at the price of his own popularity. His subjects admired and feared him, but did not love him. His execution of two young heroes for a trifling breach of discipline after the conclusion of his Nanzhao campaign angered people, and to appease them he declared that the two dead heroes were now gods who could be worshipped. His forcing of Kyansittha
Kyansittha
to become fugitive increased his popularity although this action at least was justified for the great paladin, like the Lancelot
Lancelot
of the Round Table, was in love with one of his queens.[39]

(The queen in love with Kyansittha
Kyansittha
was Manisanda Khin U. The two young heroes executed were Shwe Hpyin Gyi and Shwe Hpyin Nge, who later entered the pantheon of Burmese nat spirits).

But people admired and feared him, and he was able to implement many of his ambitious multifaceted reforms. Death[edit] Anawrahta
Anawrahta
died on 11 April 1077 in the outskirts of Pagan.[note 12] The chronicles hint that his enemies ambushed and killed him and then disposed of the body in such a way that it was never found. The chronicles state that a nat (spirit) appeared in the guise of wild buffalo and gored him to death, and then demons took away his body.[39] Legacy[edit]

Statue of Anawrahta
Anawrahta
(far left) along with the statues of Bayinnaung and Alaungpaya
Alaungpaya
in front of the DSA

Anawrahta
Anawrahta
is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, kings of Burmese history
Burmese history
for he founded first "charter polity" of what would later become modern Burma. Not only did he greatly expand the Pagan Kingdom but he also implemented a series of political and administrative reforms that enabled his empire to dominate the Irrawaddy valley and its periphery for another 250 years. Anawrahta's legacy went far beyond the borders of modern Burma. The success and longevity of Pagan's dominance over the Irrawaddy valley laid the foundation for the ascent of Burmese language
Burmese language
and culture, the spread of Burman ethnicity in Upper Burma. His embrace of Theravada Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism
and his success in stopping the advance of Khmer Empire, a Hindu
Hindu
kingdom, provided the Buddhist school, which had been in retreat elsewhere in South and Southeast Asia, a much needed reprieve and a safe shelter. He helped restart Theravada Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism
in Ceylon, the Buddhist school's original home.[40] The success of Pagan dynasty made Theravada Buddhism's later growth in Lan Na, Siam, Lan Xang, and Cambodia, also due in a large part to Ceylon's interactions with those lands, in the 13th and 14th centuries possible.[note 13] In popular culture[edit] Anawrahta's life stories and legends remain a popular subject of Burmese folklore. The love triangle involving Anawrahta, Kyansittha and Manisanda as well as the sad story of Saw Mon Hla, one of his queens, are a staple of Burmese theater. Due to his reputation as a stern father figure, he is not the central character in these stories where the main protagonist invariably is the romantic soldier-king Kyansittha. Commemorations[edit]

Anawrahta
Anawrahta
Road, a main avenue in Yangon UMS Anawrahta, Myanmar Navy
Myanmar Navy
Corvette Team Anawrahta, one of the five student teams in Burmese schools

Notes[edit]

^ ( Yazawin Thit 2012: 95, footnote #2) which cites (Bo Lay 1990: 25–28) states that Anawrahta
Anawrahta
was born on 11 May 1014. ^ ( Maha Yazawin
Maha Yazawin
2006: 346–349): Among the four major chronicles, only Zatadawbon Yazawin's dates line up with Anawrahta's inscriptionally verified accession date of 1044 CE. (Aung-Thwin 2005: 121–123): In general, Zata is considered "the most accurate of all Burmese chronicles, particularly with regard to the best-known Pagan and Ava kings, many of whose dates have been corroborated by epigraphy." ^ The Burmese calendar straddles the Western calendar year. In Anawrahta's time, each Burmese year began and ended in late March of the Julian calendar. For example, the Burmese year 376 spanned from 25 March 1014 to 25 March 1015. Scholarship usually simplifies by reporting just the leading year, e.g., 376 ME as 1014. ^ (Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 230) on Monday, 8th waning of Pyatho, 379 ME (13 January 1018). (Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 274) says Anawrahta
Anawrahta
died in 421 ME (1059–1060 CE) right before the Burmese new year (March 1060). ^ ( Maha Yazawin
Maha Yazawin
Vol. 1 2006: 347): The overthrow of Kunhsaw took place in 1021 per Zata, 971 per Maha Yazawin
Maha Yazawin
and 986 per Hmannan and Yazawin Thit. ^ ( Maha Yazawin
Maha Yazawin
Vol. 1 2006: 347): The overthrow of Nyaung-u Sawrahan took place in 1001 per Zata, 950 per Maha Yazawin
Maha Yazawin
and 964 per Hmannan and Yazawin Thit. ^ ( Maha Yazawin
Maha Yazawin
Vol. 1 2006: 347): Kyiso
Kyiso
died in 1038 per Zata, 977 per Maha Yazawin
Maha Yazawin
and 992 per Hmannan and Yazawin Thit. ^ Per Zata's horoscope section (Zata 1960: 83) as translated by the editors of ( Yazawin Thit 2012: 95, footnote #1). ^ (Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 230) says he came to power on Monday, 8th waning of Pyatho, 379 ME (13 January 1018). But the Myazedi inscription and Zatadawbon Yazawin
Zatadawbon Yazawin
both say Anawrahta
Anawrahta
came to power in 406 ME (1044/1045 CE). Assuming that 8th waning of Pyatho is correct, he ascended the throne on 16 December 1044 (8th waning of Pyatho 406 ME). ^ (Sandamala Linkara 1931: 148–151): King Pe Byu was ousted by the "king of Pyus" in 976 CE per Saya Mi's Razawin, 1076 per Razawin Haung, or 776 per Razawin Thit. Razawin Linka also mentions the raid. Rakhine Razawin Thit, the last Arakanese chronicle written in 1931, rejects the Anawrahta's "visit", and says the raid that ousted Pe Byu took place in 776 CE, three centuries before Anawrahta. The second raid occurred in 828, 1018 or 1103, either overthrowing King Nga Ton or installing King Letya Minnan. ^ ( Maha Yazawin
Maha Yazawin
Vol. 1 2006: 166 footnote #2): The date was given by the monk Taunghpila Sayadaw as part of his answers to a set questions posed by King Pindale (r. 1648–1661). ^ According to Dr. Bo Lay per (Bo Lay 1990: 24–28) as cited in ( Yazawin Thit 2012: 108, footnote #1). Chronicles say he died right before the Burmese new year, which means March 1078. According to Maha Yazawin ( Maha Yazawin
Maha Yazawin
Vol. 1 2006: 180) and Hmannan (Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 274), he died right before the Burmese new year's day, on the day of a particular astrological event called "Dein-Net" that occurs five to six times a year. In the footnotes of ( Maha Yazawin
Maha Yazawin
Vol. 1 2006: 180), the editors note that the Dein-Net event occurred on the Thingyan Akya day that year. Since the Burmese New Year's Day fell on 26 March 1078 per (Eade 1989: 81), he died on 23 March 1078. ^ (Ricklefs et al 2010: 45–48): The spread of Theravada Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism
in Siam, Lan Xang
Lan Xang
and Cambodia
Cambodia
was also aided by the interaction with Ceylon. However, the Ceylonese interaction was possible only because the Theravada monk order was restarted in 1071–1072 by the monks from Pagan per (Harvey 1925: 32–33) and ( Htin Aung
Htin Aung
1967: 35).

References[edit]

^ Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 108, footnote #2 ^ Harvey 1925: 34 ^ Htin Aung
Htin Aung
1967: 38 ^ Coedès 1968: 133, 148–149, 155 ^ Kyaw Thet 1962: 40 ^ Aung-Thwin 1985: 21–22 ^ Maha Yazawin
Maha Yazawin
Vol. 1 2006: 347 ^ a b Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 227–228 ^ Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 228–229 ^ Harvey 1925: 19 ^ Htin Aung
Htin Aung
1967: 31 ^ a b Harvey 1925: 24–25 ^ Coedès 1968: 149 ^ Harvey 1925: 24 ^ a b Htin Aung
Htin Aung
1967: 34 ^ Kyaw Thet 1962: 41–42 ^ a b Harvey 1925: 26–31 ^ Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 269–270 ^ Kyaw Thet 1962: 45 ^ a b Htin Aung
Htin Aung
1967: 33 ^ a b c Lieberman 2003: 91 ^ a b Tarling 1999: 165 ^ South 2003: 419 ^ Aung-Thwin 2005: 433 ^ a b Harvey 1925: 29 ^ Lieberman 2003: 92 ^ Myint-U 2006: 72–73 ^ a b c d e f Htin Aung
Htin Aung
1967: 35 ^ Harvey 1925: 326 ^ Kyaw Thet 1962: 46–47 ^ Harvey 1925: 32 ^ a b Lieberman 2003: 115–116 ^ Htin Aung
Htin Aung
1967: 32 ^ Coedès 1968: 149–150 ^ a b Harvey 1925: 33 ^ Htin Aung
Htin Aung
1967: 36–37 ^ Harvey 1925: 307 ^ Aung-Thwin (2005): 167–178, 197–200 ^ a b Htin Aung
Htin Aung
1967: 37–38 ^ Ricklefs et al 2010: 43–45

Bibliography[edit]

Aung-Thwin, Michael (1985). Pagan: The Origins of Modern Burma. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 0-8248-0960-2.  Aung-Thwin, Michael A. (2005). The Mists of Rāmañña: The Legend that was Lower Burma
Burma
(illustrated ed.). Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2886-8.  Bo Lay, Dr. Meitthalat Lettwei Thutethana Kyan (in Burmese). Yangon: Su Paung.  Coedès, George (1968). Walter F. Vella, ed. The Indianized States of Southeast Asia. trans.Susan Brown Cowing. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-0368-1.  Eade, J.C. Southeast Asian Ephemeris: Solar and Planetary Positions, A.D. 638–2000. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-87727-704-4.  Hall, D.G.E. (1960). Burma
Burma
(3rd ed.). Hutchinson University Library. ISBN 978-1-4067-3503-1.  Harvey, G. E. (1925). History of Burma: From the Earliest Times to 10 March 1824. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd.  Htin Aung, Maung (1967). A History of Burma. New York and London: Cambridge University Press.  Kala, U (1724). Maha Yazawin
Maha Yazawin
(in Burmese). 1–3 (2006, 4th printing ed.). Yangon: Ya-Pyei Publishing.  Kyaw Thet (1962). History of Burma
Burma
(in Burmese). Yangon: Yangon University Press.  Lieberman, Victor B. (2003). Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
in Global Context, c. 800–1830, volume 1, Integration on the Mainland. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-80496-7.  Maha Sithu (1798). Myint Swe (; Kyaw Win; Thein Hlaing, eds. Yazawin Thit (in Burmese). 1–3 (2012, 2nd printing ed.). Yangon: Ya-Pyei Publishing.  Myint-U, Thant (2006). The River of Lost Footsteps—Histories of Burma. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-16342-6.  Pe Maung Tin; G.H. Luce (1923). The Glass Palace Chronicle
Glass Palace Chronicle
of the Kings of Burma
Burma
(1960 ed.). Rangoon University Press.  Phayre, Lt. Gen. Sir Arthur P. (1883). History of Burma
Burma
(1967 ed.). London: Susil Gupta.  Ricklefs, M.C.; Bruce McFarland Lockhart; Albert Lau; Portia Reyes; Maitrii Aung-Thwin; Bruce Lockhart (2010). A New History of Southeast Asia. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0230212145.  Royal Historians of Burma
Burma
(c. 1680). U Hla Tin (Hla Thamein), eds. Zatadawbon Yazawin
Zatadawbon Yazawin
(1960 ed.). Historical Research Directorate of the Union of Burma. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link) Royal Historical Commission of Burma
Burma
(1832). Hmannan Yazawin
Hmannan Yazawin
(in Burmese). 1–3 (2003 ed.). Yangon: Ministry of Information, Myanmar.  Sandamala Linkara, Ashin (1931). Rakhine Yazawinthit Kyan (in Burmese). 1–2 (1997 ed.). Yangon: Tetlan Sarpay.  South, Ashley (2003). Mon nationalism and civil war in Burma: the golden sheldrake. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7007-1609-8.  Tarling, Nicholas (1999). The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia: Early Times to c. 1500. ISBN 978-0-521-66369-4. 

Anawrahta Pagan Dynasty Born: 11 May 1014 Died: 11 April 1077

Regnal titles

Preceded by Sokkate King of Burma 1044–1077 Succeeded by Saw Lu

v t e

Burmese monarchs

Pagan Dynasty 849–1297

Pyinbya Tannet Sale Theinhko Nyaung-u Sawrahan Kunhsaw Kyaunghpyu Kyiso Sokkate Anawrahta Saw Lu Kyansittha Sithu I Narathu Naratheinkha Sithu II Htilominlo Naratheinga Uzana1 Kyaswa Uzana Narathihapate Kyawswa2

Myinsaing and Pinya Kingdoms 1297–1364

Athinkhaya1, Yazathingyan1 and Thihathu1 Thihathu Uzana I Sithu1 Kyawswa I Kyawswa II Narathu Uzana II

Sagaing
Sagaing
Kingdom 1315–1364

Saw Yun Tarabya I Anawrahta
Anawrahta
I Kyaswa Anawrahta
Anawrahta
II Tarabya II Minbyauk Thihapate

Kingdom of Ava 1364–1555

Thado Minbya Swa Saw Ke Tarabya Minkhaung I Thihathu Min Hla Kale Kyetaungnyo Mohnyin Thado Minye Kyawswa I Narapati I Thihathura Minkhaung II and Thihathura II Narapati II Sawlon3 and Thohanbwa3 Hkonmaing3 Narapati III3 Narapati IV3

Hanthawaddy Kingdom 1287–1539, 1550–1552

Wareru Hkun Law Saw O Saw Zein Zein Pun Saw E Binnya E Law Binnya U Maha Dewi1 Razadarit Binnya Dhammaraza Binnya Ran I Binnya Waru Binnya Kyan Leik Munhtaw Shin Sawbu Dhammazedi Binnya Ran II Takayutpi Smim Sawhtut4 Smim Htaw4

Mrauk U Kingdom 1429–1785

Saw Mon Khayi Ba Saw Phyu Dawlya Ba Saw Nyo Ran Aung Salingathu Raza Gazapati Saw O Thazata Minkhaung Min Bin Dikkha Saw Hla Sekkya Phalaung Razagyi Khamaung Thiri Thudhamma Sanay Narapati Thado Sanda Thudhamma Thiri Thuriya Wara Dhammaraza Muni Thudhammaraza Sanda Thuriya I Nawrahta Mayuppiya Kalamandat Naradipati Sanda Wimala I Sanda Thuriya II Sanda Wizaya Sanda Thuriya III Naradipati II Narapawara Sanda Wizala Madarit Nara Apaya Thirithu Sanda Parama Apaya Sanda Thumana Sanda Wimala II Sanda Thaditha Maha Thammada

Prome Kingdom 1482–1542

Thado Minsaw Bayin Htwe Narapati5 Minkhaung5

Toungoo Dynasty 1510–1752

Mingyi Nyo Tabinshwehti Bayinnaung Nanda Nyaungyan Anaukpetlun Minye Deibba Thalun Pindale Pye Narawara Minye Kyawhtin Sanay Min Taninganway Min Mahadhammaraza Dipadi

Restored Hanthawaddy Kingdom 1740–1757

Smim Htaw Buddhaketi Binnya Dala

Konbaung Dynasty 1752–1885

Alaungpaya Naungdawgyi Hsinbyushin Singu Phaungka Bodawpaya Bagyidaw Tharrawaddy Pagan Mindon Thibaw

1Regent or Co-Regent 2Mongol vassal (1297) 3Confederation of Shan States
Shan States
(1527–55) 4Brief revival (1550–52) 5Vassal of Confederation of Shan States
Shan States
(1532–42)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 40627137 LCCN: n780230

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