- Indians in Burmese History
Indians have a long and active history in Burma. Indians have actively engaged in Burma for over 2000 years in all spheres of life i.e. politics, religion, culture, arts and cuisine and the effect can be seen till this day.
The highway between India and China [“Bagan Culture”page 42, Professor U Than Tun M.A., B.L., D. Lit., Ph.D.] [“Ancient Pyu” page page 3&4 Professor U Than Tun M.A., B.L., D. Lit., Ph.D.]
India and China are the world’s biggest and ancient cradle of civilizations. High, snow peaked, rough and steep Himalaya mountain ranges block the direct interaction or travelling between the two of them except for the virtual highway through Myanmar/Burma. So there were a lot of travelers, migrants, victims of disasters and famine, war refugees and etc moving along this Burma Highway and some of them settled in Burma. In the official Thailand History books, they even claim that all of the Tibeto-Burman groups including Tibet came down from Yunnan stressing that Tibet had made an almost U turn and climbed beck onto the Tibet Highlands. [Thailand History books]
There was the
Burma Roadwhich linked Burma and China. Its terminals are Kunmingin China and Lashioin Burma. The road is about 1,130 kilometres long and runs through rough mountain country. General Merrill and General Stilwell built during the colonial times under British. When the Japanese overran sections of the Burma Road the Allies built the Ledo Road, also later known as the Stilwell Road. Ledo Road was built from Ledo in Assaminto the Hukawng Valleyas an alternative to the Burma Road. It was completed in January 1945 and was renamed Stilwell Roadby Chiang Kai-shek. Now China and India are negotiating with Myanmar to build a modern high way liking their countries through Burma including to lay natural gas pipe line from Rakhine to India, Yunnan, China.
Since it was the colonialists who invented the idea of the Mongolian origins of the Burmese peoples in the first place, contradicting the Burmese belief of having originated from Northern India and Nepal, this merely confirms the strength of colonialist discourse in penetrating Burmese self-perception fifty years later. In spite of asserting commonality Minye Kaungbon [Minye Kaungbon (1994:165). New Light of Myanmar] cannot resist the temptation to provide the Bamars with a special historical mention that lifts them high above the Mongoloid race and raises their pride as a superior race, namely that ‘Bamars are descendants of Sakyans who are of the Aryan Race or of some other descendants of Aryans’. Though there is ‘scarcely any race that can claim descent from exclusively one original race’, nevertheless, Burma's proximity to India permits the claim that the Burmans have ‘an ornamental Aryan superstructure on the existing Mongoloid foundation’, resulting in some historians proclaiming that ‘Myanmars were descendants of Aryans’. [ILCAA 1999 - Gustaaf Houtman. Mental Culture in Burmese Crisis Politics. ILCAA Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia & Africa Monograph Series 33, Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, 1999, ISBN 4-87297-748-3, p 070/392]
Pyu and India
[“Ancient Pyu” page page 3&4 Professor U Than Tun M.A., B.L., D. Lit., Ph.D.] Pyu, one of the three founding father of Bamar or Myanmar race was believed to be the mixture of three groups; (i) Few insignificant local inhabitants since Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age, (ii) many migrants came from India bringing in Hinduism and Buddhism along with their cultures and literatures successively (iii) and the last group believed to came down from north, Tibeto-Burman group. [Dr Than Tun (History Professor, Mandalay University) ‘The Story of Myanmar told in pictures’.]
Pyu arrived in future Burma area in the 1st century BC or earlier and established village kingdoms at: Hanlin, Kutkhaing in the north, Thanlwin coastal line in the east, Gulf of Mataban and its coast in the south, Thandwe in the southern west and Yoma in the west. [Dr Than Tun , “The Story of Myanmar told in pictures”]
Pyu had built towns in: Sri Ksetra (Pyeh) 4-8AD, Maingmaw, Beikthano. (Actually VISHNU from Hindi god) (Khmer troops occupied 210-225 AD), Taung Dwin Gyi 1-4 AD,, Hanlin (Wet Let) 2-9AD, (Halingyi), Tagaung (Thabeikkyin), Waddi (Nga Htwoe Gyi), Maingmaw (Pinlay)(Myittha), Beinnaka (Pyaw Bwe), and Bilin township (Mon state) [Dr Than Tun , “The Story of Myanmar told in pictures”]
Pyu variant of the Gupta script
Pyu established ancient kingdom (and its language) found in the central and northern regions of what is now Burma. The history of the Pyu is known to us from two main historical sources: the remnants of their civilization found in stone inscriptions (some in Pali, but rendered in the Pyu script, or a Pyu variant of the Gupta script) and the brief accounts of some travellers and traders from China, preserved in the Chinese imperial history. [Chinese imperial history]
Pyu chronicles speak of a dynastic change in A.D. 94. Sri Ksetra village was apparently abandoned around A.D. 656 it was sacked by the Nan Cho Chinese Shan in the mid-9th century, ending the Pyu's period of dominance.
Pyu language started in 5AD in Southern Rakhine. At famous Mya Zedi Pagoda stone inscriptions were written in Pyu, Mon, Bama, and Pali in 1113AD. Pyu had written records, dated from 1st century A.D. and Mon from 5th century A.D. and Bama had its own written records only in 11th century A.D. [Chinese imperial history] [“Ancient Pyu” page page 3&4 Professor U Than Tun M.A., B.L., D. Lit., Ph.D.]
Beikthano (Vishnu) at the end of 4th. AD (9Khmer troops occupied 210-225 AD.(Taung Dwin Gyi) after which the Mons moved in, giving the cities names Panthwa and Ramanna pura. Religious remains show both forms of Buddhism, Mahayanism and Hinayanism, together with Vishnu worship. There are large stone Buddhist sculptures in relief in the Gupta style, bronze statuettes of Avalokitesvara, one of the three chief Mahayanist Bodhisattvas, and so many stone sculptures of Vishnu that the city was sometimes referred to as ‘Vishnu City’. [BURMA, D. G . E. HALL, M.A., D.LIT., F.R.HIST.S.Professor Emeritus of the University of London and formerly Professor of History in the University of Rangoon, Burma.Third edition 1960. Page 8]
Pyu Kings are Maharajas In Chinese Chronicles they recorded Pyu as ‘P’aio’. But Pyu Called themselves Tircul. [(Perso-Arab authors) of 9-10 AD] . There are records of Nan Cho and Tibet alliance in 755 AD to defeat Chinese. Nan Cho king Ko-lo-fen communicate with Pyu. Pyu Kings were called Maharajas and Chief ministers were called Mahasinas.
Nan Cho conscripted Pyu soldiers to attack of Hanoi in 863 AD. In 832 AD Nan Cho looted Han Lin village from Pyu. [(Elizabeth Moore, Myanmar Historical Research Journal 2004)]
Pyu kings named Vishnu as in Gupta, India
Inscriptions in Pyu language using a South Indian script, showed a Vikrama dynasty ruling there at least from AD 673 to 718. [BURMA, D. G . E. HALL, M.A., D.LIT., F.R.HIST.S.Professor Emeritus of the University of London and formerly Professor of History in the University of Rangoon, Burma.Third edition 1960. Page 8] On Pyu’s stone inscriptions, kings names with Vikrama were suffix with Vishnu. The same tradition was noticed in Gupta era India 100 BC.and in Sri Kestia, Mon in south, Thai and Cambodia. Statue of Vishnu standing on Garuda with Lakshmi standing on the lotus on left. And Brahma, Siva and Vishnu thrones were also found. Name, Varman indicated that there was influence of Pallava of India. [(Elizabeth Moore, Myanmar Historical Research Journal 2004)] The mentioning of Varman dynasty, an Indian name, indicated there was a neighbouring and rival city, but Old Prome is the only Pyu site so‘ far to be excavated in that area. [BURMA, D. G . E. HALL, M.A., D.LIT., F.R.HIST.S.Professor Emeritus of the University of London and formerly Professor of History in the University of Rangoon, Burma.Third edition 1960. Page 8]
Indian Dravidian tribe in Panthwa
In Chinese Chronicles Chen Yi-Sein instead gives an Indian derivation for Panthwa village, as the name of a Dravidian tribe settled in Mon’s areas around the Gulf of Martaban. This group was later one of the pioneers in a ‘Monized’ occupation of Beikthano village, which also led to the village/city being called Ramanna-pura, linked to Mon areas of southern Myanmar (1999:77). [D. G . E. HALL, “BURMA”]
The Tagaung dynasty is explicitly incorporated into the story of Duttabaung’s mother and father; the lineage of the Queen of Beikthano is less consistent, but always intertwined with that of the Sri Kestra village rulers. In all of these, links are made between territorial control, royal patronage of Hindu or Buddhist sects and supernatural events. [D. G . E. HALL, “BURMA”]
Orissa, Indian Buddhist colonists, arrived lower Burma, settled and built pagodas since 500 BC. [HGE Hall, "History of Southeast Asia."]
Thamala and Wimala
Two princes named Thamala and Wimala (Myanmar version of Indian names-Thalma and Vimala.) established the town Bago in 573AD. Tabinshwehti (Taungoo Dynasty) conquered it in 1539 AD. [Pe Maung Tin and G.H.Luce, The Glass Palace Chronicle of the Kings of Burma]
Hindu colonists, of Andhra Dynasty, from middle India (180 BC) established Hanthawaddy (Mon town) and Syriam (Ta Nyin or Than Lyin) in Burma. [HGE Hall, "History of Southeast Asia."]
Indian Royal family
Some believed that Burma started from Tagaung, built by Abi Raja, a Sakian (Tha Ki Win min), Indian Royal family member, migrated from Kapilavatthu (India) after defeated by the king of Panchala (India), Vitatupa. He left the Middle Country (India) and established the Tagaung country, known at that time as Sangassarattha or Sangassanagara. On the death of Abi Raja, younger son Kan Raja Nge (younger King Kan) got the throne. Thirty-three kings reigned there. [Pe Maung Tin and G.H.Luce, The Glass Palace Chronicle of the Kings of Burma, Rangoon University Press, Rangoon, Burma, January 1960, page 1, paragraphs 2 & 3]
Kan Raja Gyi ruled Arakan
Elder brother Kan Raja Gyi (elder King Kan) went down the Ayeyarwaddy River, ascended the Thallawadi River, arrived Kelataungnyo and ruled there as Rajagaha. He ruled the ancient Arakan. [Pe Maung Tin and G.H. Luce, The Glass Palace Chronicle of the Kings of Burma, page 2, paragraph 2]
Kan Raja Gyi's son Muducitta His son Muducitta became king of the Pyus (ancestors of modern Myanmar). He founded the city of Kyauppadaung. He conquered the Dhannavati (built by king Marayu). [Pe Maung Tin and G.H. Luce, The Glass Palace Chronicle of the Kings of Burma, page 2, line 22]
The invading Chinese from the north destroyed Tagaung. The last king of Tagaung, Bhinnaka Raja run away and died later. His followers split in to three divisions. [ Pe Maung Tin and G.H. Luce, The Glass Palace Chronicle of the Kings of Burma, page 3, line 4 to 7]
One division founded the nineteen Shan States at the eastern part.
Muducitta, grand son of Abi Raja
Another division moved down Ayeyarwady River and combined with Muducitta (second generation migrant, grand son of Indian Abi Raja) and other Sakiyan (Indian) princes, among the Pyus, Kanyans and Theks. [Pe Maung Tin and G.H.Luce, The Glass Palace Chronicle of the Kings of Burma,page 2,3,6,13]
Naga Hsein, a Sakiyan Indian
The third group stayed in Mali with the chief queen Naga Hsein, a Sakiyan.(Indian) She was the queen of the Sakyiyan king Dhaja Raja migrated from India. On the way he founded Thintwe’. Then they founded the upper Bagan(Pagan). [Pe Maung Tin and G.H.Luce, The Glass Palace Chronicle of the Kings of Burma,page 3,4&30]
Dahnnavata captured Thambula, queen of Pyus. But Nanhkan (China) queen of Pyus had driven out the Kanyans, who lived in seven hill-tracks beginning Thantwe’. [Pe Maung Tin and G.H.Luce, The Glass Palace Chronicle of the Kings of Burma,page6,12,13]
King Dwattabaung from Indian Royal Family
King Dwattabaung, direct descendent of Abi Raja (Indian Migrant) founded Thare Khit Taya in 443 BC. It was said to be self-destroyed in 94 AD. The history is half -mystical at that time. [Pe Maung Tin and G.H.Luce, The Glass Palace Chronicle of the Kings of Burma,page 7,9,13,21,23,83,86,94]
Mons or Talaings, an Ethnic Minority Group of Myanmar, migrated from the Talingana State, Madras coast of Southern India. They mixed with the new migrants of Mongol from China and driven out the above Andhra and Orissa colonists. [“The Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar, 1972, Otto Harrassowitz. Wiesbaden.]
Those Mon (Talaings) brought with them the culture, arts, literature, religion and all the skills of civilisation of present Myanmar. They founded the Thaton and Bago (Pegu) Kingdoms. King Anawrahta of Bagan (Pagan) conquered that Mon Kingdom of King Manuha, named Suvannabumi (The Land of Golden Hues). [HGE Hall History of Southeast Asia.]
The conquest of Thaton in 1057 was a decisive event in Burmese history. It brought the Burman into direct contact with the Indian civilizing influences in the south and opened the way for intercourse with Buddhist centres overseas, especially Ceylon. [BURMA, D. G . E. HALL, M.A., D.LIT., F.R.HIST.S.Professor Emeritus of the University of London and formerly Professor of History in the University of Rangoon, Burma.Third edition 1960. Page 16]
The evidence of the inscriptions, Luce [Luce , G. H., ‘Burma’s Debt to Pagan’, Journal of the Burma Research Society, Vol. XXII, p121.] warns us, shows that the Buddhism of Pagan ‘was mixed up with Hindu Brahmanic cults, Vaisnavism in particular. [BURMA, D. G . E. HALL, M.A., D.LIT., F.R.HIST.S.Professor Emeritus of the University of London and formerly Professor of History in the University of Rangoon, Burma.Third edition 1960. Page 16]
Ah Yee Gyis
Ah Yee Gyis or Aries, notoriously powerful in Pagan or Bagan, before the Buddhist Religion arrived. Ah Yee Gyis or Aries were related to one Indian sect or religion. The Indian Aris or Ah Yees were also known for, swimming, martial arts, traditional medicine practice and the custom of sleeping with the brides on the first night of weddings. They are the last to eliminate just after formation of first Bama Empire.
Bengal prince Pateik Kara
Pateikkara was an Indian (Kala) prince from ancient Bengal who fall in love with Burma Bagan’s 3rd Great King Kyansittha’s daughter. King Kyansittha indirectly cause the death of his daughter, Shwe Ein Si’s lover, Prince of Pateik Kara. He used to bribe the royal guards with ten baskets of silver to see the princess. When the king heard of the secret lovers’ tryst, he forced his daughter to marry Sawyun, the son of late King Sawlu, although Sawyun was a handicapped person walking with a limp. Kyansittha preferred him rather than a Kala (Indian). [ Pe Maung Tin and G.H.Luce, [Glass Palace Chronicle] Page 105 paragraph 4 to page 106 paragraph 1]
India and Arakan
The Arakanese chronicles claim that the Kingdom was founded in the year 2666 BC. [A.P. Phayre, History of Burma London, 1883, PP. 293-304.]
Wesali founded by Hindu Chandras
"The area known as North Arakan had been for many years before the 8th century the seat of Hindu dynasties. In 788 AD a new dynasty, known as the Chandras, founded the city of Wesali. This city became a noted trade port to which as many as a thousand ships came annually; the Chandra kings were upholders of Buddhism, ... their territory extended as far north as Chittagong;---- Wesali was an easterly Hindu kingdom of Bengal --- Both government and people were Indian. [M.S. Collis, Arakan's place in the civilization of the Bay, Joumal of the Burma Research Society, 50th Anniversary publications No.2, Rangoon, 1960, P. 486.] So far as Arakan is concerned, the inscriptions show traces of two early dynasties holding sway in the north. The earlier one, a Candra dynasty, seems to have been founded in the middle of the fourth century A.D. Its capital was known by the Indian name of Vaisali and it maintained close connections THE PRE-PAGAN PERIOD 9with India. Thirteen kings of this dynasty are said to have reigned for a total period of 230 years. The second dynasty was founded in the eighth century by a ruler referred to as Sri Dharmavijaya, who was of pure Ksatriya descent. His grandson married a daughter of the Pyu king of Sri Ksetra. [BURMA, D. G . E. HALL, M.A., D.LIT., F.R.HIST.S.Professor Emeritus of the University of London and formerly Professor of History in the University of Rangoon, Burma.Third edition 1960. Page 8 -9]
Hindu statues and inscriptions in Wesali
The ruins of old capital of Arakan - Wesali show Hindu statues and inscriptions of the 8th century AD. Although the Chandras usually held Buddhistic doctrines, there is reason to believe that Brahmanism and Buddhism flourished side by side in the capital.
Chittagong is from Tsit-ta-gung
The Arab chief was the Thuratan, in the Arakanese utterance whom the king of Arakan Tsula-Taing Tsandra (951-957 AD.), claimed to have defeated in his invasion of Chittagong in 953 AD. In memory of his victory the Arakanese king set up a stone trophy, in the conquered land. And inscribed on it the Burmese word, "Tsit-ta-gung" meaning "there shall be no war". And from this remark of the monument, according to Burmese tradition, the district took its name, Chittagong. [A.P. Phayre,op.cit, P36.]
Chittagong under Arakanese rule
Nearly a century, from about 1580 till 1666 AD Chittagong was under almost uninterrupted Arakanese rule. Arakanese captured and sent numbers of the inhabitants of Bengal into Arakan as agricultural and slave labours.
Arakanese known in Bengal as Maghs
The Buddhists Arakanese, known as Magh or Rakhine are descended from Aryans of Maghada, India Mongolians mixed with the Tibeto-Burmans. [HGE Hall History of Southeast Asia.]
During the 16th and 17th centuries the Arakanese (known in Bengal as Maghs) in alliance with the Portuguese constituted a plundering party. By dominating the riverine tracts they plundered and devastated large parts of southern and eastern Bengal. [For details; J.N.Sarkar: The Feringhi Pirates of Chatgaon; Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengalvol.111,1907,pp.419-25,andFBemier:Travels in the Mughal Empire. Delhi l 968, P.175.]
They carried a large number of men, women and children from the coastal districts of Bengal, [(District Gazetteer - 24 Pargana. P. 39.)] as captives and the Maghs (Arakanese) employed them as agricultural labour. It is well known that the Kingdom of Arakan was a sparsely populated area, which required huge amount of human labour for agriculture. With this intention the Arakanese employed a large number of captives in the villages of land on the bank of the Kuladan river to the Naf. This Kula population of the country form about 15 percent of the whole population. A.P.Phayre mentions, "the Kolas or Mossalmans, are of an entirely different race. They being of Bengalee descent. [A. P. Phayre, Account of Arakan Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. X, 184 1, P. 68 1.]
Burmese settlement in Arakan
“The Burmese do not seem to have settled in Arakan until possibly as late as the tenth century AD. Hence earlier dynasties are thought to have been Indian, ruling over a population similar to that of Bengal. All the capitals known to history have been in the north near modern Akyab”. [D. G. E Hall, A History of the South East Asia, New York, 1968, P. 389.]
Arrival of Arab Muslims The Arab Muslims first came into contact with Arakan through trade and commerce during the 8th century AD and since then Islam started spreading in the region. In those days the Arabs were very much active in sea-trade, they even monopolized trade and commerce in the East. [Muhammed Abdur Rahim, Social & Cultural History of Bengal, VoL 1, Karach, 1963, P. 37]
Dr. Mohammad Enamul Haque introduces another Arakanese chronicle, which informs us of an Arab settlement, in the tenth century AD. extending from the mouth of the Meghna to the North of the Naf riverin the East. [Muhammed Enamul Haque, Purba Pakistane Islam, Dhaka, 1948, pp. 16-17 & Enamul Haque 0 Abdul Karim Shahitya Bisharad, Arakan Rajshabhay Bangla Shahitya, Calcutta, 1935, P. 3.]
With the passing of time, the number of Muslims in Arakan began to increase. Gradually these Muslims have established very good and cordial relations with the local people and intermixed by marrying local women.
"They differ but little from the Arakanese except in their religion and in the social customs which their religion directs; in writing they use Burmese, but amongst themselves employ colloquially the language of their ancestors". [D. G. E Hall, Studies in Dutch Relations with Arakan, Journal of the Burma Research Society, VOL XXVI, 1936, P. 6. and Mr. R. B. Smart, Burma Gazetteer-Akyab District, voL A., Rangoon. 1957]
Even, a Russian merchant, Athanasius Nitikin, who travelled in the East (1470) mentions regarding activities of some Muslim sufis of Pegu (
Bago). The Merchant pictured Pegu as "no inconsiderable port, inhabited by Indian dervishes. [G.E Hervey, History of Burma, London 1925, P. 121.]
Ships wrecked at Ramree Island
In the history of the Arakanese kings, it is recorded that during the reign, of Arakanese king Mahat-y-ing Chandayat (780-810 AD.) several Kula or foreign ships were wrecked upon the island of Ramree, and the people who boarded on them were said to be Muslims. The Arakanese king ordered them to be settled in the villages of Arakan. [A.P. Phayre, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, voL XII, part, 1, 1844, p.36.]
Narameikhla alias Solaiman Shah
However, Islam made its first major political and cultural impact during the early 15th century through Narameikhla, king of Arakan. He lost the war,run to India Mogul Empire for help. With the help of Muslim soldiers he was restored as a king and Narameikhla, took the title Solaiman Shah. [(A.S.Bahar, The Arakani Rahingyas in Burmese Society, M.A. Thesis, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, p.27.)] and established a new dynasty, known as Maruk-u-dynasty, with its capital at Mrohaung. [(Moshe Yegar, Op. cit.; P. 18.)]
Arakan coins with Islamic features
With effect from the year 1430 the kingdom of Arakan became tributary to Bengal and the kings assume a Muslim name and struck coins with Kalima (The declarition of Islamic faith of the single God, Allah and believef of His messenger Mohammad- Peace be upon him.) [M. Robinson and L.A. Shaw, The Coins and Banknotes of Burma, England, 1980, P. 44.]
"It is common for the kings, though Buddhist, to use Mohamedan designations in addition to their own names, and even to issue medallions bearing the Kalima, the Mohammedan confession of faith, in Persian script". [(G.EHarvey, Op. cit, P. 140.)]
This practice was prevalent among the Arakanese kings till the first half of the seventeenth century. This was because they not only wished to be thought of as sultans in their own rights, but also because there were Muslims in ever larger numbers among their subjects. A.P.Phayre observes that the practice of assuming Muslim name and inscribing Kalima in their coins was probably first introduced in fulfilment of the promise made by Mung-Somwun but was continued in later time as a token of sovereignty in Chittagong. [A.P. Phayre, History of Burma 1853, P. 78.]
He also mentions that "these they assumed as being successors of Mussalman kings, or as being anxious to imitate the prevailing fashion of India. [A. P. Phayre, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1846.]
Muslim influence in Arakan since 1430
So the Muslim influence in Arakan may be said to date from 1430, the year of Narameikhla's restoration.During his reign an unexpected development took place, which paved the way for a period of Muslim domination in the land of Arakan. From this time onwards the relation of Muslims with the Arakanese became more intimate and for about two centuries Arakan was united in a bond of friendship with Islamic lands. As a result of the impact of the civilization of the Muslims, Arakanese culture also progressed and thus began the 'Golden Age' in the history of Arakan. [M. Siddique Khan, op. cit., P. 249.]
Muslims Massacred in Arakan
The next and last event was the flight of Shah Shuja, the brother of Aurangzeb, to Arakan in 1660, which brought a new wave of Muslim immigrants to the kingdom of Arakan and also caused political changes. Later on the prince and some of his soldierswere murdered on Feb., 1661. [G.E.Hervey, The fate of Shah Shuja 1661. Journal of the Burma Research Society, part 1, 1922. pp. 107-115.]
Kaman or Kamanci
But “who escaped the massacre were later admitted into the king's bodyguard as a special archers unit called Kamans or Kamanci”. [M. Siddique Khan, op, cit., p. 253.]
From 1666 to 1710 the political rule of Arakan was completely in their hands, during which the Muslim Kaman units played a decisive role of king makers and king breakers. Their numbers were increased from time to time by fresh arrivals from upperIndia. [G. E Hervey, History of Burma, London 1925, P. 148. Mohammad Khalilur Rahman, Tarik-i-Islam Arakan & Burma, Urdu version, Quoted by Abdul Haque Chowdhury.]
Buddhist Arakan Kings with Islamic names
All the kings of Arakan were said to be Buddhist. However to rule the 12 towns in the Bangal smoothly seven kings decided to have Arakanese and Mogul Islamic names. The interference of Ava and Pegu in the affairs of Arakan had important consequences for that country. The Ava king placed his son-in-law on the throne of Arakan. The Mons in return invaded the country, killed the Burmese nominee and replaced him with a ruler chosen by Razadarit. In 1430, however, with the assistance of Bengal, the exiled king, Narameikhla,returned and was reinstated as the vassal of the Mohammedan king of Gaur. He founded Mrohaung as his capital, and his, Mohammedan followers built a mosque there. From this time onwards the Arakanese kings, although Buddhists, used Mohammedan titles in addition to their own names, They even issued medallions bearing the Kalima, the Mohammedan confession of faith. The connection between Arakan and India became even more pronounced when in 1459 an Arakanese king occupied Chittagong. [BURMA, D. G . E. HALL, M.A., D.LIT., F.R.HIST.S.Professor Emeritus of the University of London and formerly Professor of History in the University of Rangoon, Burma.Third edition 1960. Page 31-32]
The Islamic-names of Arakan Kings
No- - -Name- - - - - - - - - - - year
1 Min-kha-ri (Ali Khan)- - - 1433
2 Ba-saw-phru (Kalama Shah)- -1459
3 Dolay (Mokhu Shah)- - 1482
4 Ba-saw-min-nyo (Maha Moshah)- -1492
5 Min-raza-kri (Ili Shah)- - - 1501
6 Saw-min-o (Jal Shah)- - - 1515
7 Thazata (Itsli Shah)- --1515
Summarized History of Arakan
Independent Kingdom --- 266 BC- 1782 AD.
Burmese ruled ----------1783 - 1815 AD.
British ruled ----------1815 - 1942 AD.
Japanese ruled ----------1942 - 1945 AD.
British ruled ----------1945 - 1947 AD.
Burmese rule -----------1948 till present.
*‘DIALOGUE WITH A SHAN LEADER, H.R.H HSO KHAN PHA” . Tiger Yawnghwe or His Royal Highness Prince Hso Khan Pha; he is the eldest son of Sao Shwe Thaik, the former Saopha [Prince] of Yawnghwe [Nyaung-Shwe] and the first President of Burma after Burma's Independence from British colonial rule. Interview with Dr Tayza, Chief Editor of Burma Digest.
*Dr Than Tun (History Professor, Mandalay University) ‘The Story of Myanmar told in pictures’.
*Elizabeth Moore, Myanmar Historical Research Journal 2004.
*D. G. E Hall, A History of the South East Asia, New York, 1968.
*G.E Hervey, History of Burma, London 1925,
*M.S. Collis, Arakan's place in the civilization of the Bay, Joumal of the Burma Research Society, 50th Anniversary publications No.2, Rangoon, 1960
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