About Arakan Kingdom

Nandaw Pagoda

nandaw pagoda
The pagoda lies on Nandaw mountain which is in the left river bank of Thandwe river and one mile far away from the north of Thandwe. This pagoda is also a prophetic pagoda of lord Buddha.

The lord Buddha prophesied Anan Da, “Dear Anan Da, the pagoda will be called Nandaw pagoda enshrining my rib relic after I had attained Parinibbanna since I had ever been a king of partridge in a previous life of mine.”

The governor Min Pyar of the city of Dawrawaddy built the pagoda in 763 AD in accordance with Buddha’s prophecy. Rakhine successive kings: king Maha Soe, king Ra Zar Gyi and king San Da Thu Dham Ma, renovated the pagoda in 1323 AD. 1626 AD and 1676 AD respectively. Townspeople of Thandwe renovated it twice in 1849 AD and 1878 AD respectively.


The original height of the pagoda is 6 feet, but the pagoda was encased by the donors, therefore, in the present, it measures 40 feet high and 110 feet in circumference. The pagoda is octagonal in shape at the base and the upper part of the pagoda is conical. The pagoda has the same shape with Andaw and Sandaw Pagodas in relation to Buddhs’s prophecy.

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Andaw Pagoda

While Buddha was resting on the top of Tanttawmu mountain, he prophesied, “Dear Anan Da, I had ever been the kings of human beings and the kings of animals many times in my previous lives in the city of Dawrawaddy. Among them, I had ever been a king of rattlesnake in a previous live of mine in Pathura mountain where is in the north-east of this mountain I stand, therefore, the pagoda called Andaw, will be built enshrining my molar relic after I had attained Parinibbanna.”

This pagoda is situated on the top of Andaw mountain where is in the left river bank of Thandwe river and one mile far from Thandwe. The governor Za Choke of the city of Dawrawaddy, built the pagoda enshrining the molar relic in 762 AD according to Buddha’s porphecy. Rakhine successive kings such as king Maha Soe, king Ra Zar Gyi and king San Da Thu Dham Ma, renovated it. The residents of Thandwe and Andaw villagers renovated the pagoda again in 1870 AD.

The form of Andaw pagoda is octagonal in shape at the base. The pagoda measures 46 feet high and 244 feet in circumference. The upper part of the bell-shaped deom is conical. The whole pagoda doesn’t have any decorations and the pagoda court is also narrow. There is the small bell in the north-east of the pagoda court and the stone slab which is 15 feet in circumference, is at the eastern cliff of the mountain outside the pagoda court. That stone slab is a part of the umbrella of the ancient pagoda. The square-formed hole was made at the centre of the stone slab. Each side of the hole in the form of square, is 2 feet 2 inches in length. The square-formed hole of the stone slab, was used for the inner central pillar of the pagoda.

There is a prayer hall at the base of the mountain. The Buddha image which is made of bricks and cement, is dwelling in the prayer hall. U Shwe Bu, the lieutenant general of Myanmar force, built the prayer hall in the peace of the ancient religious edifice in the early 19th century. The design of the prayer hall is strange because the design of the common Buddhist building and the design of the islamic mosque, are mixed up. The prayer hall is called Pharahla. There is a corridor to enter the hall in the form of square, and the ceiling was made in the form of dome.

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Sandaw Pagoda

sandaw pagoda
The pagoda is located on the steep mountain which is in the left river bank of Thandwe river and one mile fur from Thandwe. This pagoda is also a prophetic pagoda of Buddha. Buddha prophesied Anan Da, “Dear Anan Da, the pagoda called Sandaw will be built enshrining my hair relic after I had gained Parinibbanna as I had ever been a king of the bird of paradise in Manikaytha mountain in a previous life of mine.”

The governor Min Nyo Khin of the city of Dawrawaddy built the pagoda in AD 784 according to Buddha’s prophecy. Rakhine successive kings such as king Maha Soe, king Ra Zar Gyi and king San Da Thu Dham Ma renovated it. The residents of Thandwe renovated it again in 1849 AD and 1876 AD respectively. The form of the pagoda is octagonal in shape. It measures 65 feet in height and 180 feet in circumference at the base. The upper part of the bell-shaped dome, is conical and there are no decorations, caves and porches. The pagoda court is enclosed with the octagonal-shaped wall. There are three entrances around the wall, but only one entrance has the brick stairway. The brick stairway provides an access to the pagoda from the base of the mountain. It has 204 steps and the balustrade of the stairway is 3 feet high. The small bell is in the north-east of the pagoda. The contemporary religious buildings are occupying the base of the mountain. Among them, the distinctive building is the building in the form of the cave cemetery of the Mohanmedan. The inner room is square, and the roof and the ceiling are spherical.

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SanDaMuni Buddha Image Between

sandamuni buddha image
King Athor Ka of Padalipoat kingdom excavated seven Sarwat at Buddha relics king Azar Ta That buried in Razargyo kingdom. Sarwat is a container (the unit of measurement). In accordance with the advice of monk Shin Maha Mauk Ga Li Poat Tiek Tha, he sent the Buddha relics to the Buddha’s prophetic places for building the pagodas.

King Thu Ri Ya Sak Ka of Dynyawaddy kingdom and king Athor Ka, were simultaneous kings. King Athor Ka ruled his country from BC 326 to BC 286. King Thu Ri Ya Sak Ka ruled Dynyawaddy from BC 316 to BC 272. King Athor Ka sent monk Shin Bar Ku La and monk Shin Maha Teik Tha bringing Buddha relics to king Thu Ri Ya Sak Ka to build the pagodas in the prophetic places of Buddha in Dynyawaddy. The two monks gave him the Buddha relics and the replica of Sandamuni Buddha image which Buddha cast by himself while he was alive. According to the two monk’s instruciton, he built 248 pagodas int he prophetic places of Buddha who visited Rakhine. The pagodas were as high as the bull. The successive kings of Rakhine reconstructed them into the larger pagodas by encasing the original pagodas.



After building the pagodas, king Thu Ri Ya Sak Ka cast the image similar to Sandamuni Buddha image of India in the nine leftover jewels of casting Manamuni Buddha image. That Buddha image was named Sandamuni because it was cast like Sandamuni Buddha image of India. The king worshipped the Buddha image by building the stone cave for it in the east of the palace. The successive kings of Dynyawaddy period worshipped the Buddha image like Mahamuni Buddha image. The successive kings of Vesali period also worshipped it. And then, king Min Saw Mon moved the capital of Rakhine from the city of Laungkyat to Mraukoo. He built five pagodas around the city of Mraukoo as city-settlement pagodas. Moreover, he took Sandamuni Buddha image worshipeed by the successive kings of Rakhine to Mraukoo. The stone Buddha image was put in the original place of Sandamuni Buddha image. That stone Buddha image is also called Sandamuni Buddha image. Nowadays, that Buddha image is near Taungoo village. King Min Saw Mon worshipped Sandamuni Buddha image making the cave on Barkual hill in which Arahat Ashin Bar Ku La stood and prophesied that Mraukoo would be founded. The British occupied Rakhine state after the first Anglo-Myanmar war. In such time, the British took away the bronzeware such as bronze Buddha images, the bronze bells and the bronze gongs from Rakhine state. And then, some townselders hid some Buddha images and other valuable bronzeware. Those townselders hid Sandamuni Buddha image as well by taking it sneakily from Barkual hill at night. Nobody knew where Sandamuni Buddha image was hidden after those townselders had been dead.

One day, Ashin Sak Ka Pa La found the porcelain eye on the Buddha throne when he made obeisance to Buddha image in the ordination hall. When he observed the Buddha images, monk Sak Ka Pa La found absolutely that the Buddha image whose eye had fallen off, was a bronze image covering with cement. He told the presiding monks Agga Maha Pan Di Ta and Bad Dan Ta Pan Deik Ta humbly about that. And then, the cement of the Buddha image was broken off from the image leading by monk Ashin Sak Ka Pa La at 2:40 PM on Thursday in June in 1988. Since then, the impressive and marvellous Buddha image has been seen. When Buddha image was polished repairing the hole of the Buddha image damaged by the cement, it became glittery that no one can satisfy for making obeisance to it.

The distance of the two knees is 4 feet 2 inches broad and the image is 4 feet 2 inches high from the bottom to the forelock. The image was cats for the king to worship in accordance with the book of metal beauty architecture. Sandamuni is a wonderful Buddha image because if the Buddha image is worshipped 10 feet away from the image, it looks like the perfect man who sits cross-legged.

Sandamuni is not the Buddha image which was made of bronze only, but is made of five jewels. Some Buddha images were cast in copper instead of gold, but Sandamuni Buddha images was case in the proportionate metal-mixing method, therefore, Buddha image is glittering like gold. Sandamuni is a proportional Buddha image because it was cast in accordance with the book of metal beauty architecture.

The eyelids of the image are put downwards. Casting with the lines on the eyelids, is artistic. The curved eyebrows and the straight nose look like a human being. The smiling lips are an artistic work of the sculptor. Casting the image with a circular face and without the forehead frame, is Rakhine’s own artistic works. The nose is so proportional to the face that the worshippers cannot be bored with seeing it. Seeing a hollow on the chin, looks like a human being exactly. The two ears are long and the ears’ bores are wide. That is Rakhine’s artistic work. The neck is straight and making three lines in the neck is a sign of wearing the yellow robe. Rakhine scholars say that seeing the broad chest and the nipples are due to wearing the thin yellow robe. The two arms of the image are strong like the elephant trunk. The image has a waist appropriate to the chest.

The Buddha image is the form of cross-legged position in which the right leg is put on the left leg. By overturning the right palm, it is put on the right knee. The fingers are put downwards, but they don’t touch Buddha throne. Such gesture of Buddha image is called Pasinkata mudra. Pasinkata mudra means Buddha is sitting calmly for worshipping of human beings, Devas and Hrahmas. Distincitvely, the Buddha image has the long and short fingers like the ordinary people. The upturned left palm is put on the right sole of the image. The acid is held with the index finger and the thumb. Such characteristics refers to that Buddha is an unrivalled wise person in the universe.

The background figures of the image, are eight series of the history of Buddha copied from Vesali period. Rakhine people used to sculpt the four series of the Buddha history, eight series of the Buddha history and ten series of the Buddha history since the ancient Vesali period.
The right side figures of the image
1. Giving brith to the future Buddha from mother Mar Yar Day Wi.
2. Desending from the celestial realm to the human abode after Buddha had expounded Abidamma doctrine during the four months of lent.
3. Preaching Dhammacakkya doctrine by Buddha for the five monks in Migadawone forest.
The left side figures of the image
4. Expounding Dhamma for king Valalayya elephant while Buddha was dwelling alone for the four months of lent in Vilalayya forest as he couldn’t solve the conflict among the monks.
5. Preaching Dhamma for Nalageeri elephant by Buddha when Daywadat sent it to kill Buddha with its feet.
6. Practising his supernatural power by Buddha.
7. The topmost figure is gaining Mahaparinibbanna of Buddha.
8. Buddha image represents that Buddha won over Mara for Bawdi tree and the jewelled throne and brought about Buddhahood by attaining omniscience.

Nine wonderful thins of Sandamuni Buddha image
1. The brightness of Buddha image doesn’t fade out even though it lasts for long time by irradiating once.
2. If the distinctive events will occur in the country, the right eye of the image becomes red.
3. It is always cold if the Buddha image is touched with hand either in the summer or in the winter.
4. The shade of lotus flower appearing in the chest, cannot be spoiled by any ways.
5. If the Buddha image is paid obeisance once, the desire to make obeisance over and over again, appears.
6. The Buddha image brights up in both day and night.
7. The persons who observe nine precepts for nine days by contemplating the attributes of Buddha with beads before the image, will fulfill their wishes and they well be free from danger.
8. After worshipping the image once, if anyone contemplates the Buddha image with the bead, the image appears in his mind.
9. The pilgrims nearby and remote areas who intend to worship the image, can get to the image easily without any disturbances.



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Vesali Buddha Image

vesali buddha image
King Maha Tine San Dra founded the capital of Vesali in AD 327. The name of Maha Taing San Dra was written as the name of Dwe San Dra in Anandachandra stone inscription pillar. The chief queen of king Maha Tine San Dra was Thu Pa Bar Day Wi, the descendant of Tharkiwan clan of Kapilawat kingdom. The chief queen spoke to the king humbly that she wanted to worship Thakkyamuni Buddha image worshipped by descendants of Tharkiwon clan in Kapilawat kingdom. The king sent the ministers and the high officers to Kapilawant kingdom to covery Thakkyamuni Buddha image.

They conveyed the Buddha image in the sailing ship. When they reached Theinseetauntwaykhanaung, the Buddha image fell into the water as the ship wrecked due to breaking out of the storm there. Although they looked for it in the water, they didn’t find it because the water was very deep. When the ministers and the high officers got back to the palace, they spoke to the king humbly that the Buddha image had fallen into the water. When the queen Thu Pa Bar Day Wi heard that news, she was contracted with the mental illness because her wish didn’t come true. And then, the Buddha image was made of single stone by the king in AD 327 and he let his wife worship the Buddha image instead of Thakkyanmuni Buddha image. But, the queen made a solemn wish donating light and flowers to Buddha image.

She prayed to Buddha image, “Although I cannot worship Thakkyamuni Buddha image of my country in this existence, may I worship it as soon as I am born as a princess in the next life.” The queen was reincarnated as the princess of king Min Ra Zar Gyi and queen Shin Ma Hnaung after she had been dead. As soon as the princess had been born, she was able to worship Thakkyamuni Buddha image by finding it in the water.

The Buddha image erected by king Tine San Dra in Vesali, was called Vesali Sutaungpyit Buddha image as the Buddha image fulfilled the queen’s wish. In the ancient time, the image was woshipped by placing it in the stone cave. But the cave had already ruined. The prayer hall was built of bricks in the east outside the perfumed chamber. Two Buddha images in the prayer hall, are Buddha images taken from Shwetaung pagoda and Ngwetaung pagoda. The perfumed chamber and the prayer hall are fenced with the wall. There are entrances in the south and the east. The Buddha images is in the form of sitting on the lotus throne. The images is 17 feet high. The pagoda board of trustee takes care of it.

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Mingalardatshwegu and Koenawon Pagoda

mingalardatshwegu pagoda
King Kheik Ta Thin, the nephew of king Su La San Dra, founded Pyinsa after fall of Vesali. In those days, Arahat Thit Sa Van Da Wa practised meditation in the cave near the city of Pyinsa during three months of lent. That cave still can be seen unitl now. The cave is called Ngetkhaung. That Arahat Thit Sa Van Da Wa practised meditation in the cave at the base of Lamaded mountain as well. Lastly, he practised meditation dwelling in Thamoatdawiri of present Sittwe. The word “Bandawagu” gradually became changed to Bandawgu, and in finally, Badawmaw at the present time. Those names are called regarding Arahat Thit Sa Van Da Wa. He attained Parinibbanna in Thiripatpada mountain of Sanga mountain ranges. King Kheik Ta Thin cremated the cropse by himself. He built a pagoda on Thiripatpada mountain enshrining relics of Thit Sa Van Da Wa and others in AD 818. The pagoda is octagonal in shape at the base and it is surrounded by eight spherical pagodas which face eight directions. The pagoda is called Koenawon because it has nine pagodas in total.

The Buddha image in the form of Pacinka mudra, is in the cave monastery of the east. The Buddha image in the form of Oattarabawdi mudra is in the cave monastery of the south. The Buddha image in the form of Latkhanadipa mudra is in the cave monastery of the south-west corner in which Buddha image is pointing to his sole with his right hand’s index finger. The Buddha image in the form of gaining Parinibbanna, is in the cave monastery of the west. The Buddha image in the form of preaching Dhamma to Yatkhas, is in the cave monastery of the north-west corner. That mudra is called Yatkhadamma mudra. The Buddha image in the form of Abaya mudra is in the cave monastery of the north-east corner. It is necessary to repair the surrounding pagodas because they are ruins.

And, king Kheik Ta Thin built Mingalardatshwegu pagoda in the western hill of Koenawon pagoda enshrining the relics of Arahat Thi Sa Van Da Wa and Buddha relics in AD 818. The pagoda is bell-shaped in structure. The base of the pagoda is octagonal in shape and the stone sculptures are at the corners of the pagoda. The entrance cave is in the east. The stone Buddha image in the perfumed chamber, is five feet high. The pagoda is maintained by the board of trustee of the pagoda.

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Mahahti Buddha Image

mahati
Laymyo period had four capitals. Pyinsama was the first capital of Laymyo period and it last 285 years from AD 818 to AD 1103. Purain was the second capital of Laymyo period and it last 57 years from AD 1103 to AD 1160. Nayrinesara was the third capital of Laymyo period and it last 86 years from AD 1160 to AD 1246. Laungkyat was the fourth capital of Laymyo period and it last 184 years from AD 1246 to 1430 AD. Those four cities were situated along Izananadi river, thus, those periods are called Laymyo period in reference to those four cities. The river is also called Laymyo river in reference to those four cities.


The fifth descendant of king Lat Kya Min Nan, the founder of Purain city in Lyamyo period, was king Kaw Li Ya. He did Athaditha donation. The stone inscription written with two inches-sized words on the large natural rock of Kawliya mountain, can still be seen until now. Although the rock layers had detached from the large rock, the inscription on the rock can originally be seen marvellously. Such king Kaw Li Ya erected the Buddha image three miles away from the south-west of Purain city and seven miles away from the south of Marukoo city in AD 1123. The hill the image stands, is fifty feet high. That Buddha image was sculpted in the local rock mountain by cutting it. Such locality was called Ngakaukra because the king said, “Ngakaukra.” It means that he found the stone easily to sculpt the Buddha image. After the long time had been moving, nowadays, that locality is called Ngarakauk.

King Kaw Li Ya placed the Buddha image on Sandapatvata mountain and covered it with the stone umbrella. He worshipped the image by placing it in the stone cave. Such Buddha image was named as Mahahti because it was covered with the stone umbrella.

During the first Anglo-Myanmar war, Buddha image damaged into fragments, and the whole cave also destroyed as the British captain fired the cannon at the cave in which Myanmar soldiers defended. The village situated in the place in which the British captain Baw Raw had stationed, is called Thwraw village. The villagers near Mahahti Buddha image, rebuilt the image combining the fragments they found, but they had to substitute the necessary things with bricks and cement as they didn’t find all original fragments of Buddha image. The Buddha image is eight feet high. The local villagers built a pagoda as well. The prayer hall is in the east of the pagoda. There are two ways to the pagoda: the king way and the queen way. The flat stones were laid in order on the road from the harbour to the stairway of the pagoda because the king came to it by barge for his pilgrimage. Nowadays, the board of trustee maintains the pagoda.

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Golden Mrauk U, An Ancient Capital of Arakan Kingdom

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About This Blog

Rakhapura [ရကပူရ]

Rakhapura [ရကပူရ] is the former name of Rakhaing-pray [ရခုိင္ျပည္]. Arakanese people today do not use the term 'Rakhapura' to mention their land. But, every Arakanese love the word “Rakhapura” [ရကပူရ] as they assume that it is a unique word for only Arakanese in this universe. It can also be found in both classical and modern Arakanese plays, poetry and songs. Both Rakhapura and Rakhaing-pay means the land that is owned and inhabited by the Arakanese.

Arakan [အာရကန္]

The land that is known as Arakan by the foreigners is called ‘Rakhaing-pray’ [ရခုိင္ျပည္] by its own peoples, Rakhaing-thars (Arakanese) [ရခုိင္သား]. The word “Arakan” was a derivation of the ancient word “Arakha-de-sha” [အာရက ေဒသွ်] (the land of Arakan) which is found in line forty of Anandachandra inscriptions of Shitethaung pillar. Thank you so much for visiting my blog, Arakan Buddha Land.

Rakhaing [ရခုိင္]

According to the Arakanese chronicles, the word ‘Rakhaing’ [ရခုိင္] was originated from Rakhapura [ရကပူရ] and it means the original inhabitants of Rakhapura [ရကပူရ]. Arakhadesha [အာရကေဒသွ်] > Rakhasa [ရကသွ်] > Rakkha [ရက] > Rakkhaing [ရကဳိင္] > Rakhaing [ရခုိင္] In Pali [ရပါဠိ] the word ‘Rakhaing’ [ရခုိင္] is used to honour the people who love their nation, and preserve their national heritage, and their traditional ethics or morality [သီလ].

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