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1st Danyawaddy Dynasty 3325 BC-1483 BC
2nd Danyawaddy Dynasty 1483 BC-580 BC
3rd Danyawaddy Dynasty 580 BC-326 AD

Arakan Kingdom Arakanese traditions yield little information concerning the Hill Tracts. The Burmese believe that the hill tribes are related to themselves, and frequent reference is made to immigrations into Burma vid the Kuladan (Koladyne) route. It has been inferred that in remote ages a great asiatic horde passed southward from Thibet, and branched out into two streams in or near the Manipur valley. The one proceeded down the Kyeng-dweng and peopled Upper Burma; while the other followed the valley of the Kuladan, driving before it the Yak-ko (i.e. Rakshasas, or demons) of Ceylon, an aboriginal race, supposed to be kindred to the surviving Andaman Islanders, said to be at that time cannibals. The more fortunate, or the more hardy, of the immigrants advanced to the coast, and developed a higher stage of civilisation on the fertile maritime plains. The small communities in the hills became isolated, clung to their old habits of life, and preserved the various dialects of the present hill tribes, all of which disclose an affinity with the Burmese language.

The Burmese and Arakan Razawin, or History of Kings, goes back to the origin of the present world, even alluding to those before, as taught in the Buddhist religious books. The early legendary history of the country bears a strong resemblance to the early Burmese legends. The Arakanese annals open with the deluge, and describe the foundation of the first capital at Ramawadi, somewhere in Sandoway district. This city is said to have been founded by the Kanran tribe from Upper Burma. At a later period a king, born miraculously of a doe, founded the city of Dinnyawadi, a name which was afterwards applied to the whole kingdom. Many centuries later Kanrazagyi and his followers came from Upper Burma and established a kingdom with a capital near Kyaukpadaung. There is nothing to interest any reader, as may be seen from the commencement of the second part of the so-called history, which thus sums up what has gone before:- "In the first part we have narrated the history of the Kings, commencing from Maha Thamada up to the time of the Excellent Para Gaudama, there being 334,569 Kings in regular succession."

According to ancient Arakanese chronicles, the first Arakanese kings were Indo-Aryans from the Ganges Valley. The first of these kings is believed to have been King Marayu, who was said to have founded the first Dhanyawaddy City in 3325 BC. In 1483 BC, King Kan Raza Gri was said to have founded the second Dhanyawaddy City, which served as the royal capital until 580 BC. Burmese tradition, handed down by a people anxious to connect the religion of Burma with the cradle of the Buddhist faith, has it that the founder was a son of a king of Benares, Sekkyawadi, who was afterwards to be born as Gautama Buddha.

This is the fabulous part of the history and is merely copied from the Buddhist books brought together with the religion from India. The next part may be termed the legendary history of Burma, that is, it consists of a series of ancient traditions, which, although all the details cannot be accepted as true, seem to contain some of the important facts of the early history handed down from the earliest times in the shape of legends or stories. This portion commences at an indefinite date before the birth of Gaudama. But as a line of 31 Kings are enumerated from the foundation of the monarchy to the latter event, if only allowing an average of ten years to each reign, this will carry back to the ninth century before Christ.

"At this time," says the history, "there was a war "between the King of Kawthala (or Oude) and the Thakya Princes "of Kawleeya, Daywadaha, and Kappeelawoot (the country around "Fyzabad). The Thakya Kings were subdued, and one of them, "the Prince of Kappeelawoot, Abee-raza by name, with his army left "the Myitzeemapyee (or middle country) and marched eastward. "Having crossed the Thallawadee river (the Chindwin river) "they rested on the west bank of the Irrawaddy river, and crossing "over that settled in Thingatharata, the city now called Tagoung."

Research is still being conducted to uncover the first and second Dhanyawaddy cities. Further archaeological exploration of these cities would provide crucial evidence about the origins of Arakanese culture. The third Dhanyawaddy City, the ruins of which survive to this day, dates to the period between 580 BC-326 AD, making it the center one of Southeast Asia's earliest civilizations. The city is located 80 km north of Site-tway and the entire site has a total perimeter of approximately 10 km.

In the second century AD, Chanda Suriya was king. During his reign a famous image of Buddha was cast, to which miraculous powers were attributed. Buddha had attained Nirvana more than six centuries before this time, but the Arakanese place the date of Chanda Suriya's reign much earlier, in order to make it appear that the image was cast during the life-time of Buddha and was an actual likeness. A tradition still survives that when the image, which was cast in three pieces, was put together, the head piece did not fit accurately, and Buddha himself touched it and made the joint perfect. This image, known as the Mahamuni image, was coveted by Anawrahta, who invaded the country in order to obtain it. Bodawpaya ultimately carried it off to Amarapura.

In September 2011 the Burmese government excluded the Danyawaddy, the most ancient city in Arakan as well as Burma, from the list of cities it has proposed to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Instead it was proposed that three ancient cities of Burma - Beikthano, Halin, and Tharay-Khit-Taya - be added to the World Heritage List. The last Danyawaddy existed from 6th Century BC to 4th Century AD. But Beikthano, Halin, and other Burmese cities came to exist from 1st Century AD to 9th Century AD. So Arakan's Danyawaddy is much more ancient than those Burmese cities.

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Page last modified: 08-10-2011 12:16:39 ZULU