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  • Historical Sites in Myanmar

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This category is intended to acquaint readers with some of the notable historical sites in Myanmar. It will be noticed that the ancient sites are distinguished more by their monumental remains of religious significance than by any other perceptible vestiges. There are two main reasons for this peculiarity.

Firstly, the Myanmar, being professedly Buddhists are wont to lavish their surplus wealth in building religious structures, the act of which is deemed to be one of the surest ways of attaining merit in accordance with the tenets of Buddhism. Secondly, most of the secular buildings, especially dwelling houses, were never built of durable materials like brick or stone because structures of timber, bamboo and thatch are suited to the hot climate and easier and more economical to build than masonry structures. The materials are also available in abundance throughout the country.

At the same time the Myanmar are by nature humble or modest and feel quite at ease in abiding by the age-old custom of living in wooden houses while masonry structures are exclusively dedicated to religious purpose. Even palaces were invariably built of timber till the nineteenth century and only a few masonry apartments were added later to the Mandalay palace. Gilding was, however, reserved for both ecclesiastical and royal buildings. Thus innumerable pagodas belonging to all ages are to be found throughout the country and it is no wonder that Myanmar is popularly known as the ‘Land of Pagodas’. It is therefore natural that the religious edifices come to the forefront in presenting the historical sites in Myanmar.

On the other hand it is not intended to recount here the history of the nation in any degree of comprehensiveness nor to dwell at length on the architectural details of every monument worthy of mention. As in many countries Myanmar has its history mingled with traditional lore and beliefs. The founding of cities and the erection of religious monuments, sometimes assuming important landmarks in the history of the country, are generally cloaked with hoary traditions to emphasize their antiquity or importance. For example, many pagodas are popularly attributed to Asoka and some modern stupas to Alaungsithu. Refutable associations need to be discounted; but sometimes the traditional background with sentimental undertones goes a long way to understand the vicissitudes of a developing nation and the evolution of its monumental and sculptural arts. Such traditions as were of consequence in molding public sentiments are therefore mentioned for what they are worth.

The historical periods of the different sites are presented in a more or less chronological sequence. However, in cases where the sites pertain to more than one historical period they are treated in the later periods when they have attained more prominence in the history of the country, allusions being made to their original significance. A few of the sites are difficult of access, but it is not proper to leave them out for this reason alone: their inclusion, it is hoped, would afford the reader a fuller perspective of the ancient sites throughout the country and thus fulfill the purpose of this category.

  • Dhamma Dana - Golden Land of Buddhism

    Dhamma Dana – “Golden Land” of Buddhism

    In the year 2000, one of the noted stone work sculptors from Mandalay. Thiri Thudama Manizawta Dhara U Taw Taw and family had discovered immense Crystal Marble Stone-over 600 tons […]

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  • Mingun historical site of Myanmar


    Bodawpaya had his temporary residence on an island in the Ayeyarwady river when he superintended for many years the building of the Mingun Pagoda on the west bank. The pagoda, […]

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  • Mandalay historical site of Myanmar


    Mandalay was founded by King Mindon in 1857, and the majority of the monuments there including the palace, the city walls, pagodas and monasteries were built in that year or […]

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  • Amarapura Historical Site of Myanmar


    When Bodawpaya ascended the throne he founded Amarapura and moved his capital from Innwa. His grandson and successor, Bagyidaw, shifted the capital back to Innwa in 1823. Tharawaddy (1837-46) who […]

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  • Sagaing historical site of Myanmar


    After the fall of Bagan, Athinkhaya Sawyun, son of the youngest of the three Shan brothers founded Sagaing in 1315. It lies on the right bank of the Ayeyarwady. It […]

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  • Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery


    Innwa is situated at the confluence of the Ayeyarwady and Dokhtawadi (Myitnge) rivers in Upper Myanmar. It was founded after the subversion of Sagaing and Pinya by the Shans in […]

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  • Buddha images inside Shitthaung Temple, Mauk U


    According to local chronicles Arakan (Dinnyawadi) has a long history as an independent state from very early times before the Christian era. But we learn from a number of inscriptions […]

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  • Botataung Pagoda


    After his conquest of Lower Myanmar in 1755 King Alaungpaya renamed the small old town of Dagon as Yangon (end of strife) and founded a new city on the old […]

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  • Skyline of Bago


    The early history of Bago is also more or less legendary. Tradition recounts that in the far distant past a hamsa bird (Brahmani duck) alighted on a small patch of […]

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  • Peaceful Tagaung


    Tradition asserts that Tagaung is the cradle of Myanmar civilization. The founding of the first city by a Sakyan king who had migrated from India is reckoned hundreds of years […]

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  • Ancient Stucco and Plaques arts in Myanmar


    Bagan, lying on the left bank of the Ayeyarwady in the dry zone of Central Myanmar, is the most important historical site in the country. It was the capital for […]

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  • Mon kingdom of Ramannadesa settled in the region between the Sittang and Than Lwin rivers


    In the early centuries of the Christian era the Mons were settled in the region between the Sittang and Than Lwin rivers which were known as the Mon kingdom of […]

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  • Pyu Sculture

    Sri Ksetra (Thayekhittaya)

    Sri Ksetra (Thayekhittaya in Myanmar), one of the ancient Pyu capitals of Myanmar, lies five miles south-east of Pyay on the left bank of the Ayeyarwady and about 180 miles […]

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  • The ancient Pyu cities of Halin


    Another significant Pyu site, Halin (or Halingyi-Great Halin), lies about 11 miles south-east of Shwebo in Upper Myanmar. It is reached by road from Shwebo crossing Moksogyon railway-station on the […]

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  • Beikthano historical site


    Ancient sites in Myanmar are generally associated with fabulous traditions and folklore handed down from generation to generation since ages past. Beikthano is not an exception. It is traditionally believed […]

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1 Comment

  • Blackshaper

    Downstream river cruise on the beautiful Irrawaddy River from Mandalay to Bagan with daily sailing and excursions to village, markets and historic sites. Wonderful trip!


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