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Myanmar - Pegu / Bago / Hantharwaddy Dynasty (1287-1599)



Kings / Queens

Relationship to Predecessor

Bago / Hantharwaddy Dynasty (1287-?)
11287-1296Wareru (a) Mogado (a) Chaofaruafounder
8.Ba Nyar Oo.
9.Yazar Darit (a) Ba Nyar Nwetson
101423-26Ba Nyar Dhama Yarzar.
111426-46Ba Nyar Yan.
121446-50Ba Nyar Waru.
131450-53Ba Nyar Kyan.
141453-53Late Hmut Htawson
151454-72Queen Phwar Sawdaughter of Yazar Darit
161472-92Dhamazedi (a) Yazar Dipadison-in-law
.1492-1526 (BE ???-888)Ba Nyar Yan

*** 3 kings' death in BE 888: Mon Ba Nyar Yan, Innwa King Shwe Nan Kyawt Shin, Pyi Thadoe Min Saw

last king.Thushin Tagar Yutpison
..Smim Htaw Buddhaketi.
.1747-1757Ba Nyar Dala.

Kings of Pegu
Second Hongsawatoi Dynasty
#Reign Kingrelation
11287-1306Wa re rufounder
21306-1310Khun lau, or Tha na ran bya keitBrother
31310-1323Dzau au, or Then mhaingNephew
41323-1330Dzau dzip, or Binga ran daBrother
51330-1348Binya e lauCousin
61348-1385Binya u, or Tsheng phyu shengCousin
71385-1423Binya nwe, or Ra dza di ritSon
81423-1426Biny Dham ma Ra dzaSon
91426-1446Binya Ran kitBrother
101446-1450Binya Wa ruNephew
111450-1453Binya KengCousin
121453-1453Mhau dauCousin
131453-1460Shen tsau bu, Binya dauNot royal
141460-1491Dham ma DediSon in law
151491-1526Binya RanSon
161526-1540Ta ka rwut biSon

Myanmar History Map - 1400 AD Myanmar History Map - 1500 AD

The Hanthawaddy Kingdom (also Hanthawaddy Pegu or simply Pegu) was the dominant kingdom that ruled lower Burma (Myanmar) from 1287 to 1539. The Mon-speaking kingdom was founded as Ramannadesa (or Ramanya in Burmese and Mon) by King Wareru following the collapse of the Pagan Empire in 1287 as a nominal vassal state of Sukhothai Kingdom, and of the Mongol Yuan dynasty. Mon kingdoms often suffered from invasions of Burman kings from 11th to 17th Century, AD. The 3rd and the last Mon kingdom, Hongsawatoi, located in lower Burma was invaded and annexed by U Aungzeya, a Burman leader, who was also known as Alaungphaya, in 1757.

Buddhist tradition states that Buddha, in one of his early incarnations, beheld, appearing above the surface of the sea, a small patch of sand, on which two golden geese alighted; and the Master thereupon prophesied that on that spot would one day be founded a famous city. This prophecy was fulfilled about the year 573 AD, when Thamala and Wimala, two sons of the ruling king of Thaton, collected followers and founded on the sacred spot a city which they called Hansawadi or Hanthawadi, from the Sanscrit hansa, a goose (Burmese, hintha). This city, called also by the Talaing name Pegu, became the capital of the great kingdom.

The Mon located in the center and lower part of the country today. Historically, Mon was a great kingdom in the Myanmar area long before the arrival of the Burman. The tracts about the mouths of the Irawadi, Sitang, and Salwin were anciently called Savarna Bhumi or Ramanya, and were inhabited by the Mon [aka Talaing]. The language of the Talaing is monosyllabic and tonic, with a sprinkling of polysyllabic words, and had a common origin with those of Cambodia and Annam; and some suggested that the Assamese, Mon, and Cambodians moved down the IndoChinese Peninsula about the same time, and occupied contiguous tracts of country until the Siamese intruded themselves between the members of the Mon Annam family. It has been suggested that the Mon language is connected with that of the Munda or Kolarian tribe iu Chutia Nagpur, and a few words in both languages are more or less alike.

The Burmese call them Talaing. The Siamese appellation is Ming-mon. Established in the delta region of Ayeyarwaddy, the Mons had for their capital Thaton (Ramanya Desha), east of Motetamet Gulf. The ancient capital of the Talaing was also called Thadung, Thatung, or Satung. Its ruins are still to be seen between the mouths of the Sitang and Salwin rivers, and the colonists seem to have been of Hindu origin, possibly arriving several centuries before the Christian era.

There is one great difference between the annals of the Taking and Burman races. The Taking national historians do not pretend to account for the origin of their race. While, like all other nations, their earliest traditions are largely mixed, with fable, they do not extend these back into a mythical antiquity, and go no further back than the era of Gaudama, that is, about 600 years before Christ. They have no tradition of ever having occupied other than their present localities, or of any changes or migrations of their race.

As in all Buddhist countries Gaudama is alleged to have personally visited and preached in them, he is said to have so done in Thatone. But there are two versions of the legend. According to one this visit took place in the reign of Theeharaza himself, according to the other in that of his son Theereemathawka. This will give two dates to select from for the founding of Thatone. The first account places the visit of Gaudama in the thirty-seventh year before he attained neikban, and as Theeharaza is said to have died in the same year, having reigned sixty years, this will give BC 603 as the date of the foundation of the city. If, on the other hand, we accept King Theereemathawka as the contemporary of Gaudama, the date of Theeharaza's reign and of the founding of Thatone will be thrown back some sixty or eighty years. It is hardly to be expected to do more than approximately fix the commencement of the history of Thatone and of the Talaing people between 600 and 700 BC.

Before the establishment of the first Burman kingdom, Pagan, in Burma, the Mons both in Thailand and Burma were politically organized as the confederacy of Ramanya, and their kingdoms were stable until the 8th century. They seem to have extended their empire to Pegu and Arakan in the early centuries of the Christian era, and to have held sway for sixteen centuries. Part of thie population dwell on the delta of the Irawadi, Mon being the name used by themselves for the native populations of Pegu, Moulmein, Amherst, and Martaban; but their neighbors call them Talaing, and the same names, Mon or Talaing, are given to the vernacular language of Pegu. The alphabet, like that of the T'hay and Burmese, is of Indian origin, being essentially that of the Pali form of speech; and, like all alphabets of this kind, its language embodies a Buddhist literature. The Mon language is quite unintelligible to a Burmese or Siamese.

By one account a Shan adventurer named Magadu from Chiengmai established himself at Martaban as King Wareru of Pegu, and this Wareru dynasty maintained itself from AD 1287 to 1540. It had no relations whatever with China, but seems to have been tributary to the Shans of Ayuthia, that is, to the Siamese. After the conquest of the kingdom of Pegu, including both Thaton and Hanthawadi, Pegu became subject to Burma for about 230 years, until a Shan chief called Wareyu established a dynasty in 1287 AD, with the seat of government at Muttama (Martaban). About sixty years later, however, the capital was transferred to the ancient city of Hanthawadi, which remained the stronghold of the dynasty till Takarutbi was conquered and deposed by Tabin Shweti, King of Toungoo, in 1540 AD.

From 1369-1539, Hanthawaddy was the capital of the Mon Kingdom of Hanthawaddy, which covered all of what is now Lower Burma. The area came under Burman control again in 1539, when it was annexed by King Tabinshweti to his Kingdom of Toungoo. The kings of Taungoo made Bago their royal capital from 1539-1599 and again in 1613-1634, and used it as a base for repeated invasions of Siam. As a major seaport, the city was frequently visited by Europeans, who commented on its magnificence. The Burmese capital relocated to Ava in 1634. In 1740, the Mon revolted and founded the Restored Hanthawaddy Kingdom. But Burmese King Alaungpaya captured the city in May 1557, ending the Mon's short-lived independence.

Hanthawaddy is a vast deltaic plain stretching up from the sea, broken only by spurs of the Pegu Yoma, which separates the northern portion of the District from Pegu. The spurs continue as undulating ground through the Insein subdivision, and rise slightly near Rangoon, where the summit of a small hill has been levelled to form the platform of the Shwedagon pagoda. The range appears again on the opposite side of the Pegu river at Syriam, and is finally lost in the rocks in the Hmawwun stream just opposite the village of Kyauktan. A similar ridge of high land runs from Twante to Kungyangon in the west of the District. The highest point in the Yoma has an altitude of 2,000 feet. Here the hills are clothed with fine evergreen forests, and the scenery is bold and interesting. Farther south the high land is covered with fruit gardens and, near Rangoon, is being much sought after for house sites. Excluding this portion of the District, the scenery is tame and monotonous, consisting of rice cultivation and swamp relieved by scrub jungle, and along the sea-coast and the numerous water-ways by mangrove and inferior forest growth interspersed with dani plantations. The coast-line is low, and at the ebb shows large dismal stretches of mud.

The name Hanthawaddy is derived from hantha or hintha (the Brahmani goose) and wadi, Pali for 'river.' Legend has it that in the south of the District in prehistoric days only the hill upon which the Shwedagon pagoda now stands was above sea-level, and that it once afforded a resting-place for a Gautama, who, in a previous incarnation, had been caught in the shape of a hintha in a storm in the neighbourhood of the eminence. In early historic days Hanthawaddy, like the rest of the country lying round the Gulf of Martaban, formed part of the kingdom of the Talaings. Shortly after the close of the sixteenth century, when the Talaings had for the time been subjugated by the Burmans, and when the Toungoo dynasty reigned in the old Talaing capital of Pegu, Syriam, in Hanthawaddy District, was one of the earliest European trading stations in Burma. The only remains of this early settlement which now exist are the fragments of the old city walls and the ruins of the church built outside the old town of Syriam in 1750 by the Vicar Apostolic of Ava and Pegu. These are now preserved by Government. Hanthawaddy passed, with the rest of the province of Pegu, under British dominion at the close of the second Burmese War. It was separated from Rangoon and made into a separate District in 1879.

There are several important pagodas. The Kyaikkauk pagoda is built on the low hills on the left bank of the Rangoon river 4 miles south of Syriam. It is said to have been erected to enshrine two hairs of Gautama; later, a bone of Gautama's forehead and one of his teeth were presented to the shrine. The Kyaikkasan pagoda lies about 3 miles north-east of the Shwedagon in Rangoon, and is of the same period as that at Kyaikkauk. The Shwesandaw, near Twante, is the most sacred of the local Talaing pagodas. It was built as a shrine for two of Gautama's hairs, to which four more hairs were subsequently added. Other sacred edifices of importance are the Kyaukwaing pagoda, 2 miles east of Thamaing railway station; and the Kyaikkalo pagoda, 14 miles north of Rangoon.

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