Exploring about the Arakan
An Arakan and its peoples are still existing as colonial society of Burma. Nobody has paied attention to Arakanese nationals, who are willing to gain an independence from Burmese occupation. Especially, an Arakanese peoples are unhappy because outside world disregards about its issue always be visible to national liberation monement.
Indigenous Peoples of Arakan
An indigenous peoples of Arakan are offically recognized the basis in traditional history back ground for all those nationals, who are Mro, Khami, Chin, Chaw, Anu, Khaungso, Daingnuk, That, Marmagree, Kaman and Arakanese (Rakhine). Neither foreigners are indigenous peoples of Arakan.
Arakan is geographically situated between the Burma state to the East, Bay of Bangal to the West with the Bangladesh and India bordering on the Noth-west. It had an area of 21,694 sq miles demarcation accordence with Yandabo Treaty in 1826. Its demarcation area as changing has created to decrease since alien expension into Arakan
Arakan Roma (Arakan range), long for 600 miles from Noth to South Cape Negrais separtes the Arakan from Burma.
An Arakan’s history recorded to go back around more than 5,000 years ago, and its civilization emerged Dawrawaddy, previous Wethali, Dhanyawaddy, Wethili, Lemro and Mrauk U periods. There were over 200 Kings reigned throughout in all Arakanese dynasties.
The Arakanese’s most sacred Mahamuni Buddha image (now in Mandalay) have been cast in Arakan during the reign of King Chandra Suriya in 6th century BCE according to locals claim.
The Wethali Kingdom arose from Dhanyawaddy in the fourth century ADE. It had flourished the good relation carried on Buddhist missionary operation with Ceylon ( Sri Lanka). At least thirteen Kings reigned in Wethali dynasty where was extra-ordinary peace and prosperity according to Arnanda Chandra pillar inscription. Wethali was ephemerally displeased by the Pyu invasion in 9th century. Nevertheless, the Crown Prince Pae Pru manoeuvred to conquer the Pyu thorns in Mrauk U county.
The King Nga Mum Nga Tone, son of Sula Chandra regained the throne from King Pae Pru’s relative group in Wethali and his Kingdom ceaselessly moved to establish the starting of epoch dynasty emerged as Lemro era.
The Burmese interlopers known as King Anawrahta came from Bagan ( Pyu Gama) unsuccessfully invaded into Arakan in the middle of 11th century ADE. And an Arakan suffered from invasions by Burmese King Min Khaung of Ava and a famous King Razadirite fron Hanthawady in the early 15th century. Arakanese King Mum Saw Mon reoccupied to be free his Kingdom from an enemy by the sensible assistance of King of Gaur, Sultan Jalal-ud-din Mohammand Shah. Because, Gaur’s King greatly appreciated all his help absolutely succeeded to Guar’s adversary old Delhi.
According to astrology, the King Mun Saw Mon shifted his Captial to new palace of Nothern site called Mrauk U was built by him in 1430 ADE. It was one of the the most powerful Kingdom of Arakan during the reigned of King Mum Ba Gree, who created the huge naval force that dominated through Bay of Bangal to Gulf of Martaban. Bangal was re-taken by the Arakan Forces under the King Mum Ba Gree, who directly controlled to capture the Mushidabad ( Mouk Thu Za). Burmese King Tabin Shwehtee and Bayin Naung endeavoured to occupy into Arakan in 1545 ADE and 1546 ADE. However, those intruders were captured by tactician Mum Ba Gree in1546 ADE.
There was hired Japanese Samurai as body guards that protected the danger of Kings in Mrauk U period. Arakanese Kings enabled to growing internation trade as free port along the coast established trading with India, Sri Lanka, Arab, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Dutch and Portuguese traders in the 16th and 17th centuries. At that time, it was compared with London and Amsterdam in size of wealth and prosperity. It influenced to rule entire coastline from Bangal to Pegu. Unfortunately, the rest of Arakan Kingdom faced disorder and unifacation so far collapsed under the anarchists that paid to opportunity from invasions by Mughals in 1666 ADE, and by Burmese King of Amara Pura in 1784 ADE after assassinating King Thiri Thu Damma by his rival Nga Kuthala in 1620 ADE.
A bed news Burmese King Maung Waying inhumanely commited murder as the genocides over the innocent Arakanese peoples with their vox recorded as “If one cuts down the ‘Kyu’ reed, do not let even its stump remain.” It was shown that Burmese Kings Ruled to practices in Arakan during fourty years (1784-1824 ADE).
All Arakanese patriots, who were seeking to be restored their lost indepentent Kingdom for the revolution against the Burmese occupation.
British’s expension into Arakan in 1824 ADE with the exercise ‘divide and rule’ tactics which had not only started the commercial monopoly but also expanded its ploitical and military role. In 1942, Japan fascists invided into Arakan via Thailand with the supporters so-called Burma Independence Army (BIA), led by extra-racist BoYan Aung.
British re-occupied again into Arakan in 1945. And Burma became an independent state in 1948, however, today the Arakanese peoples have been subordinating as being colony country under the non stop cruel suppression of Burmese fascist military dictators.
Actually, Arakanese may be descended from neolithic inhabitants also known as Rakshas (Bilu). And an ancient name of Arakan was Rakkhapura in Pali (in Sanskrit “Raksapura”). The Raksha>Raksa>Rakkha, which means Ogres (Bilu), and Pura means “City”, “Kingdom”, “Country” adduces in definition “Land of Ogres”.
The team of Arakanese (Rakhine) probably came from Raksha>Raksa>Rakkha>Rakhine. Otherwise, according to Naginda ascetic intimated as Rakhine (Arakanese), which means “Wansa Rakkhan Ti Ti Rakhine (Rakhine, who preserves the national), and “Sila Rakkhan Ti Ti Rakhine (Rakhine, who preserves the religious duty), in Pali. On the other hand, Arnanda Chandra pillar inscription in Mrauk U exposes “Arakkhadesa”, which means “Land of Arakan”.
The current inhabitants of Arakan called as Rakhine by themselves, Mogh in both india and Bangladesh, Chittagonian Bangli pronounces in its own dialect as Rakhine to Rohan, Rakhangapur in Sri Lanka history, Rakhan in Tibet history and Yakhie in Thailand. An English-specking world also known as Arakan/Arakanese.
According to the Arakanese History, there are mentioned as three groups of the royal race from which Arakanese decended from India to Arakan in the millenniums. The current inhabitants of Arakan may be sure directly decended from mixture of Raksha, Aryan, Indo-Aryan and Sino-Tibetan.
Famous Places in Arakan
The Temples and Pagodas of Mrauk U in Arakan where is historical sites and architectures as Shittaung Temple, Dukkanthein Temple and Palace Ruins. Mrauk U Museum is an attraction for tourists, students and scholars. It is a collection of several artifacts by late U U Tha Tun, Arakanese historian and wise man, in its inside shows that throughout Dhanyawaddy, Wethali, Lemyo and Mrauk U period.
Why not combine your break on Ngapali Beach with a trip to Mrauk-U ~ the original home of the Mahamuni Image in Mandalay
Mrauk-U was the capital city of 48 kings for 355 years and was founded by King Mong Saw Mon in 1430. The city offers the visitor many chances to study the cultural and traditional heritage handed down to the present day Rakhine generation by their forefathers. Mrauk U can rightfully be claimed as the “Open-air Museum” of the arts and culture of the people of Rakhine.
The Golden days of this city were between the 16th and 17th centuries and contemporary to the days of the Tudor Kings, the Moghuls, the Ayuthaya Kings and the Ava (Inwa), Taungoo and Hanthawaddy Kings of Myanmar.
The city was well-fortified with 19 mile long fortification walls, moats and natural barriers: the then war-torn Rakhines began to regard it as the “Promised Land”.
Once, more than six million shrines and pagodas flourished and there is rarely a hilltop that does not adorn itself with one pagoda or another.
After the annexation of Arakan (Rakhine) by the British, the capital was shifted to Sittwe (Akyab): since that time Mrauk-U was known by the people as Mrohaung (Old City). The name Mrohaung was given by the British when they shifted their seat of administration to Sittwe in 1826. The original name was restored in 1979.
The city is just 40 miles away by river from Sittwe and the trip takes 3 to 4 hours. There are daily flights to Sittwe from Yangon which take 2 hours via Thandwe. The boat departs from a jetty in the Sattroegya, a tributary creek of the Kaladan river and on the way there are many places of interest to be seen along the river.
The gateway to Mrauk-U is Thantara village from where the undulating hills of the city with white temples and pagodas on their tops appear within sight. The Thinghanadi creek is the city’s life-blood and the boat journey ends at Aungdatt wharf.
The stone pagodas were built three and four centuries ago and many have been totally neglected for the last 150 years: the sides of the stone blocks fit compactly and are joined with cement thus resisting the absorption of ficus which are capable of reducing a brick pagoda into a shapeless heap of bricks in a few years.
The pagodas and temples built or renovated during the Myanmar governor’s rule (after the fall of Mrauk-U 1785-1825) followed the tradition of the Kunhaung architecture, with smaller pagodas built at the corners of the lower basement of a pagoda; bricks were usually used in making the receding arches. U Mra Wa and Shwegu Daung pagodas are the two examples that still survive.
Gold and silver coins serve as the priceless heritage of the Mrauk-U period. The tradition of coin-making was handed down from the Vesali kings who started minting coins around the fifth century. The coins so far found are of one denomination only. Inscribed on the coins are the title of the ruling king and his year of coronation; coins before 1638 had Rakhine inscriptions on one side and Persian and Nagari inscriptions on the other. The inclusion of the foreign inscriptions was meant for the easy acceptance by the neighbouring countries and the Arab traders. Twenty-three types of silver coins and three types of gold coins have so far been found. All the kings who ascended the throne issued coins.
City walls, gates, settlements, monastery sites, fortresses, garrisons and moats are the other priceless heritages left to the safe keeping of today’s Rakhine people. Stone rubbles of proud mansions of that period are also priceless reminders of Rakhine glory.
With thanks to U Shwe Zan
Restaurants in Sittwe
- City Point
42,Strand Rd. Sittwe
Tel: 043- 23660
- City Point Music Restaurant
1,Shukhintha St., Sittwe
Tel: 043- 23814
- Moe Cherry Restaurant
Highway Rd., Sittwe
Tel: 043- 23315
Hotels in Mrauk U
Mrauk-U has three good hotels. The Mrauk-U hotel owned by the government and two private owned hotels Nawarat and Prince Guest House have recently been opened. A small Prince hotel is economical and has licence to accept foreign tourists.
- Nawarat Hotel
Nyaungpin Market Mrauk U
Ph: 01 – 220649, 220630, 043-24601
- Prince Guest House
Myaungbwe Rd: Ah-le-zay Qr: Mrauk U
- Mrauk U Hotel
Yangon Sittway Rd. Mrauk U
Ph : 043-23060
Hotels in Sittwe
- Sittwe Hotel
West Sanpya Quarter, Near Ngapali Beach
Ph : 043-23478, 043-21939
- Noble Hotel
In front of Museum, Kyapingyi Quarter
Ph : 043-23558
- Shwe Thazin Hotel
No.250, Lan Ma Gyi, Kyapingyi Quarter
Ph : 043-23579, 043-23947
- Place Hotel
Lan Ma Gyi, Yupa North Quarter
Ph : 043-21657
- May Yu Hotel
Kannar Road, Kyapingyi Quarter
Ph : 043-21557
- Prince Guest House
No.27, Lan Ma Gyi, Yupa North Quarter
Ph : 043-21395
- Shwe San Ein Guest House
Lan Ma Gyi, Kyapingyi Quarter
Ph : 043-23827
- Aung Guest House
Lan Ma Gyi, Maw Late Quarter
Ph : 043-21224
- Kiss Guest House
Lan Ma Gyi, Yupa North Quarter
Ph : 043-21251
- Kissapa Guest House
U Oattama Road, Yupa South Quarter
Ph : 043-23990, 043-21655
- Nine Star
Yeytwin Street, Near the museum, Kyapingyi Quarter
Ph : 043-21927
- Seikkanthar Guest House
Kannar Road, Near Bank, Kyapingyi Quarter
Ph : 043-21122
- Mya Guest House
Bawdi Road, Kyapingyi Quarter
Ph : 043-21888
- Sanpya Guest House
Corner of Yeytwin Road & Shwe thar Road, Kyapingyi Quarter
Ph : 043-21884
- View Point Guest House
Kannar Road, Kyapingyi Quarter
Ph : 043-21959
- Shwe Pyitan Guest House
Min Bargyi Road, Kyaung Tatlan Quarter
Ph : 043-21487
- Myawaddy Guest House
Akauk Yone Road, Kyapingyi Quarter
Ph : 043-21169
- Cupid Guest House
Kannar Road, Kyapingyi Quarter
The Shwe Daung Pagoda or the “Golden Hill Pagoda” is also believed to have been built by King Minbin between the years 1531-1553. It is a landmark pagoda as it is the tallest in this area and can be seen as far away as 20 miles from the main Kaladan River. The hill itself is 250 feet high and is about half a mile to the south-east of the Palace Site.
The pagoda is a circular form base to the top and has a common design. It is a solid stupa with a circular base. During the First Anglo-Burmese War, 1824-26, the Myanmar forces built earthen fortifications on this hill and mounted guns which inflicted heavy losses on the British forces. Some of these fortifications can still be seen today.
Sakkyar Man Aung Pagoda is located on the east side of Mrauk U. This pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered “Mann” paya of Mrauk U. King Sri Suddhamma Raja built the Sakkyar Man Aung Pagoda in A.D 1629. It is located in the south of Yadanar Man Aung Pagoda.
This Pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered pagodas in Mrauk U. The five revered “Man” payas of Mrauk U are Lawka Man Aung, Zeenat Man Aung, Sakkya Man Aung, Mingalar Man Aung and Yadanar Man Aung.
In Myanmar known as “Man Ngar Par”. The pagoda was named after the Sakkyar dynasty. There are two statues of Orges guarding the pagoda. The sculptural arts of these two images are of rare artists. Also there are two statues of Nats, paying respect to Buddha.
The architecture of the pagoda is in the form of lotus flower. There are 12 small pagodas surrounding the main Sakkyar Man Aung Pagoda. The dimension of the Pagoda is 240 feet and the height is about 114 feet.
The plan of the base of the pagoda is peculiar. The pagoda was built with stones instead of bricks. The base consist of 8 braces joined to form an irregular octagon. From the first tier upward the structure is octagonal, the sides over the four main braces form a straight line, and the intermediate braces are in the zigzag design forms. The western gate of the pagoda is guarded by two large kneeling orgres.
Lawka Man Aung Pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered “Man” paya of Mrauk U. This Pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered pagodas in Mrauk U. The five revered “Man” payas of Mrauk U are Lawka Man Aung, Zeenat Man Aung, Sakkya Man Aung, Mingalar Man Aung and Yadanar Man Aung. In Myanmar known as “Man Ngar Par”.
The architecture of this pagoda is in the form of four steps. The base step is a square shape with four statues at each corner. From the second to the topmost step, there are small pagodas at each corner. Inside the pagoda, there is a 12 feet high Buddha image made of stone.
In A.D 1676, King Oakka Balar became a monk in this pagoda’s compound and at such a time, was also called Lawkamu Pagoda. This pagoda was also built by Candathudhammaraza (1652-1674 A.D) in 1658 A.D. It stands on a flat ground. The shrine was constructed with stone blocks, well hewn and cemented. It is square at the base, each side measuring 74 feet; the first four tiers are also square; in the center of each side of the tiers stands a porch containing an image of the Buddha. The sides of the porch are made of stone slabs; the architectural design is similar to that of the Laungbanpyauk Pagoda. There are traces of ornamental designs on the face of the porches. A guinea pig guards each corner of the lowest tier.
On each corner of the first four tiers stands a small circular pagoda, solid and without niches. From the garbha upward the central spire is circular; the apex is crowned with an iron hti (umbrella) once gilded and still in good order. The east facade of the pagoda has a portal 20′ high, protruding 2′ from the main wall, a vaulted passage 4′ 8″ wide, 16′ high, and 29′ long leads to a chamber in the center of the pagoda. It contains a stone image of the Buddha 12 feet high, sitting cross-legged on a stone alter. The ceiling is a hemispherical dome and the apex is 16 feet above ground.