849: Burmans founded Bagan on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy.
1044: King Anawratha ascended the throne of Bagan. In 1056 he was converted to Buddhism by a Mon monk, Shin Arakan. The next year, he sent an envoy to Pegu (Bago) to request for holy Buddhist scriptures (the Tripitaka), but his request was rejected. Furious, he waged war against the Mon kingdom, and after a few months of siege, Bago fell. The city was destroyed, and most of its wealth carted back to Bagan, along with the Tripitaka, and 32 white elephants. Also taken prisoner was King Manuha and most of the royal family, and about 30,000 Mons, including artisans and craftsmen. The arrival of the Mons in Bagan resulted in Bagan embracing Mon style, from Mon culture to architecture. The temples in Bagan were built in Mon style, and even Mon script was adopted.
Kuthodaw Pagoda in Mandalay, Myanmar.
1077: King Anawratha was killed by a wild buffalo. He was succeeded by his son Sawlu, who further enlarged the kingdom.
1084: King Sawlu died, and was succeeded by King Kyanzittha.
1287: The Mongols under Kublai Khan invaded Bagan and put the kingdom to a graceless end. (ref: Sukhothai history)
The claustrophobic Manuha Temple, Bagan.
1486: King Minkyino ascended the throne in the town of Taungu.
1530: With the death of Minkyino, his 16-year-old son Tabengshweti became king, and aggressively pushed to bring back the glory of Bagan.
1550: King Tabengshweti died, and was replaced by his son-in-law Bayingnaung (also written Bayinnaung and Bayintnaung, and known as Bhueng Noreng in the Siamese chronicles). He had to reconquer some of the towns which were under his father-in-law, but which, due to weak centralized authority, were effectively under the control of powerful Shan fiefdoms. Among these was Bago.
1569: Bayingnaung attacked the Siamese kingdom of Ayutthaya, and lay siege to the city island until it surrendered. King Mahin and most members of the Ayutthaya royal family were taken prisoners to Burma, along with most of the wealth and white elephants. (ref: Ayutthaya history) Siam became a vassal of Burma, with King Maha Thammaracha ruling under the surveillance of Burmese officials.
1581: King Bayingnaung died. His successor Nandanaung (or Nanda Bhueng in Siamese) was not as strong as his father, so that a few years later, in 1584, Ayutthaya under Prince Naresuan was bold enough to declare its independence from Burma. (ref: Ayutthaya history #4) Several forays to recapture Ayutthaya were unsuccessful, while the Taungu kingdom itself gradually disintegrated.
1636: Burmese capital shifted from Taungu to Ava. The Burman kingdom continued to weaken while those of the Mons, centred in Bago, strengthened.
1752: The Mons conquered Ava, ending the Burman dynasty and using Ava as their own capital.
1753: Alaungpaya, an official from the town of Shwebo, ignited a revolt against the Mons and succeeded in conquering Ava. He assumed the throne as King Alaungpaya.
1757: King Alaungpaya conquered Bago, the Mon capital.
1759: King Alaungpaya launched warfare with Siam (ref: Ayutthaya history #3) During the siege, Alaungpaya was injured and died, forcing a Burmese retreat. He was succeeded by his eldest son Naungdawgyi.
1763: Naungdawgyi's younger brother Hsinbyushin became king. Under him, the Burmese once again launched another attack on Ayutthaya. After a siege that lasted for 14 months, Ayutthaya finally fell. The Burmese army totally destroyed the city with the intention that the kingdom shall never be rebuilt. The king of Ayutthaya, Ekatot, fled the city while one of his leading generals, Chao Phaya Taksin, started a new government south of Ayutthaya, in Thonburi, which eventually became the present Chakri Dynasty of Bangkok.
1782-1819: Alaungpaya's fifth son, Bodawpaya, became king, and the Burmese kingdom continued to expand in size.
Exploring the places of interest in Myanmar
Let AsiaExplorers take you to the many wonderful sights in Myanmar. The sights are grouped according to cities, so that you can use this guide when you explore them in person. Click enter to view.
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