myanmar facts & factors
With reference to the Archaeological evidence the land that was to become Myanmar has been inhibited since at least 2500 BC. In general Tibeto-Burman migrated from Northwest and Mon-Khmar as well from Southeast.
Tibeto-Burman were known as the Pyu race which is the earliest civilization and founded three kingdoms, Beikthano, Hanlin and Thayekhittaya. These Kingdoms flourished since the 3rd century until 9th century BCE before vanquished Nan Chao forces of China’s Yunan Province at present. However, they left a wealth of gold artifacts, which had proven their prosperity and the rich of culture.
Along the Western coast the Rakhine had established small kingdoms, Dhanyawaddy (4th to 6th century), Wethali (4th to 9th century) and Mrauk U (13th to 18th century).
According to the Myanmar Official history, the Mon capital occupied the area around Thaton in present day. Inscriptions left behind by the civilization they developed referred to this area as Suvannabhumi.
Around 8th or 9th century Bamar came into South of Myanmar from somewhere of eastern Himalayas. Once the Pyu were vanquished the Bamar supplanted the Pyu in central Myanmar, a region that has since been the true cultural heart land and of Myanmar. After the Bamar came into conflict with the Mon in a long and complicated struggle in the 11th century the great King Anawahta ascended the throne and consolidates the First Myanmar Empire in the central plains. It was due to his efforts that Theravada Buddhism flourishes in the country today and the temple studded plain at Bagan is his legacy. After King Anawrahta passed away in 1077, Kyansittha (1084-1113) attempted to unify Myanmar’s disparate people and later Kings like Alaungsithu and Htilominlo built beautiful shrines, but essentially Bagan reached its peak with Anawrahta.
Bagan’s decline coincided with the rise of Kublai Khan and his Tartars in the north. They invaded in 1287 then Bagan Kingdom fell to ruin.
Since then Myanmar remained in chaos, several smaller Kingdoms were founded by descendents of the Bagan Kings. One that rare to power in the 16th century was the Kingdom in Taungoo.
In 1531, the fourteen year old Crown Prince Tabin Shwe Hti ascended the throne on his father’s death. Then King Tabin Shwe Hti founded the Second Myanmar Empire.
In 16th century a series of Taungoo Kings extended their power to the north, nearly to Inwa, then south, taking the Mon Kingdom and shifting their own capital to Bago, named Hanthawaddy.
In 1550, King Bayint Naung came to the throne, reunified all Myanmar and brought the empire to even higher greatness. With Bayint Naung’s death in 1581, his successors did not have his vision or strength and the Kingdom of Hanthawaddy went into decline.
And when in 1636, the capital was shifted north from Bago to Inwa. In the 18th century the decline became again as hill tribes started to raid central Myanmar and the Mon again broke away and established their own Kingdom in Bago.
In 1752 the Mon took Inwa but in the same year Alaungpaya came to power. He founded the Third Myanmar Empire and the Konbaung Dynasty of monarchs, who were to be the last kings in Myanmar. Alaungpaya rushing back and forth across Myanmar, conquering, defeating and destroying all who opposed him. His conquest of Lower Myanmar was marked by his renaming of Dagon, a small town where the great Shwedagon Pagoda is situated, to Yangon meaning “End of Strife”.
Since his reign and increasingly throughout the rule of his decedents, European were regular visitors to the country and court. It was a time of French, Dutch and British imprelism and few Asian countries were safe from their clutches.
Myanmar fell completely into British hands in 1885 and the last Monarch, King Thibaw and his family, were exiled to India. British ruled the country until Myanmar finally won Independence on 4th January, 1948.
Myanmar covers an area of 676,577 sq km, bordering with Thailand and Laos at the East and Bangladesh to the West. The entire Northwestern side is touched with India while Northeastern border is sharing with China and Southeastern part also bordering with Thailand. Oppose to that Southeastern part is the 2051 km long coastline touching with Indian Ocean.
Then Myanmar’s Northern tip sits on the Himalayas mountain ranges and there has snowy mountains. That is Kachin state and Southeast Asia’s highest mountain “Mount Kahkaborazi”, 5881 km high Snowy Mountain is the tour highlight. Also the “Mount Victoria”, 3053 km is in Chin State bordering India. Shan Sate is in East bordering with Laos and Thailand, then form “Golden Triangle”. Surprisingly the landscape is totally different in Central of Myanmar. Central Myanmar is the plain dry zone with tropical climate where great Archaeological zone Bagan and Mandalay the last capital of Myanmar dynasty is located.
The mighty river Ayeyarwaddy river (2000 km) flows from hilly region of the North across the central Myanmar and empty out to the sea in the South. River Ayeyarwaddy is navigable year round for 1500 km and has played a major role in domestic transport and communications for centuries. Other major rives are the Chindwin (navigable for 792 km), which joins the Ayeyarwaddy between Mandalay and Bagan; the Kaladon (navigable for 177 km); the Sittoung (non-navigable due to strong currents); and the Thanlwin river (navigable for just 89 km) which has its head waters in China then forms the border between Myanmar and Thailand. The Mekong River forms the border between Myanmar and Laos.
There are three mountain ranges lay form south to north, one at the east, one at the middle and one at the west and protect the storm as natural barriers. Very deep forest thrive on that mountain ranges, then Myanmar is fortunate in possessing huge stands of teak and other hardwood. Off Myanmar’s southwestern coastline has the Archipelago of 800 islands with beautiful preserve coral reefs.
Myanmar has vast and fertile delta region form from the tributaries of Ayeyarwaddy River near the sea at south where different species of mangrove thrive in Ayeyarwaddy