Bago Region

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Bago Region
Myanma transcription(s)
 • Burmese pai: ku: tuing: desa. kri:
Flag of Bago Region
Official seal of Bago Region
Location of Bago Region in Burma
Location of Bago Region in Burma
Coordinates: 18°15′N 96°0′E / 18.250°N 96.000°E / 18.250; 96.000Coordinates: 18°15′N 96°0′E / 18.250°N 96.000°E / 18.250; 96.000
Country  Burma
Region Lower
Capital Bago
 • Chief Minister Nyan Win[1] (USDP)
 • Total 39,402.3 km2 (15,213.3 sq mi)
Population (2014 Census)[3]
 • Total 4,863,455[2]
 • Ethnicities Bamar, Kayin, Mon, Shan, Indians, Chinese
 • Religions Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism
Time zone MST (UTC+06:30)

Bago Region (Burmese: ပဲခူးတိုင်းဒေသကြီး, pronounced: [bəɡó táɪɴ dèθa̰ dʑí]; formerly Pegu Division and Bago Division) is an administrative region of Burma, located in the southern central part of the country. It is bordered by Magway Region and Mandalay Region to the north; Kayin State, Mon State and the Gulf of Martaban to the east; Yangon Region to the south and Ayeyarwady Region and Rakhine State to the west. It is located between 46°45'N and 19°20'N and 94°35'E and 97°10'E.


According to legend, two Mon princes from Thaton founded the city of Bago in 573 AD. They saw a female goose standing on the back of a male goose on an island in a huge lake. Believing this was an auspicious omen, the princes built a city called Hanthawady (Pali: Hamsavati) on the edge of the lake.

The earliest mention of this city in history is by the Arab geographer Ibn Khudadhbin around 850 AD. At the time, the Mon capital had shifted to Thanton. The Bamar from Bagan ruled the area in 1056. After the collapse of Bagan to the Mongols in 1287, the Mon regained their independence.

From 1369-1539, Hanthawady was the capital of the Hanthawaddy Kingdom, which covered all of what is now lower Burma. The area came under Burman control again in 1539, when it was annexed by King Tabinshwehti of Kingdom of Taungoo. The kings of Taungoo made Bago their royal capital from 1539–1599, and used it as a base for their repeated invasions of Siam. As a major seaport, the city was frequently visited by Europeans, who commented on its magnificence. The Burmese capital was relocated to Ava in 1634. In 1740, the Mon revolted and briefly regained their independence, but Burmese King Alaungpaya sacked and completely destroyed the city (along with Mon independence) in 1757.

Burmese King Bodawpaya (1782–1819) rebuilt Bago, but by then the river had shifted course, cutting the city off from the sea. It never regained its previous importance. After the Second Anglo-Burmese War, the British annexed Bago in 1852. In 1862, with the formation of the province of British Burma, the capital was moved to Yangon.


Bago Region occupies an area of 15,214 square miles (39,400 km2) divided into the four districts of Bago, Pyay, Tharrawaddy and Taungoo. Bago, the divisional capital, is the fourth largest town of Burma. Other major cities include Taungoo and Pyay.

Bago Region's seal are two sibling hintha (mythical ducks), due to historic Mon influences in the area.


Bago Region is served by Pyay Airport.


The total population of Bago Region is 4,863,455 according to 2014 Burma Census with Bamar, Karen, Mon, Chin, Rakhine, Shan, South Asians, Chinese, and Pa-O ethnic groups represented. The majority of the people are Buddhists. Burmese language is the lingua franca.


The division's economy is strongly dependent on the timber trade. Taungoo, in the northern end of the Bago Region, is bordered by mountain ranges, home to teak and other hardwoods. Another natural resource is petroleum. The major crop is rice, which occupies over two-thirds of the available agricultural land. Other major crops include betel nut, sugarcane, maize, groundnut, sesamum, sunflower, beans and pulses, cotton, jute, rubber, tobacco, tapioca, banana, Nipa palm and toddy. Industry includes fisheries, salt, ceramics, sugar, paper, plywood, distilleries, and monosodium glutamate.

The division has a small livestock breeding and fisheries sector, and a small industrial sector. In 2005, it had over 4 million farm animals; nearly 3,000 acres (12 km2) of fish and prawn farms; and about 3000 private factories and about 100 state owned factories.[4]

The major tourist sites of the Bago Region can be reached as a day trip from Yangon.

Hydropower plant[edit]

The Shwegyin Dam is in the eastern part Bago Region. It i a 1,568 ft long, 135 ft wide and 2.5 ft thick zone-type dam with a water storage capacity of 1,685,000 acre feet. The three concrete conduit pipes are 1,765 ft in length, 16 ft in width and 20 ft in height each. The intake infrastructure is 121 ft long, 127 ft wide and 137 ft high. The spillway is 2,542 ft long, 135 ft wide and 58 ft high. Two compressed steel pipe lines at the dam are 25 ft in diameter and 1,100 ft in length each. The power plant is 295 ft long, 94 ft wide and 70 ft high. It is equipped with four 18.75-MW Francis vertical shaft turbines. It can generate 262 million KW hours per year.

The construction of the dam was launched in 2003. The first power station was opened on 29 December 2009, the second on 25 March 2011, the third on 2 June 2011 and the fourth on 21 July 2011. It was inaugurated on 22 October 2011.[5]


  • Bago University, Bago
  • Computer University, Pyay
  • Computer University, Taungoo
  • Pyay Education College
  • Pyay Technological University
  • Pyay University
  • Taungoo Educational College
  • Taungoo University
  • Technological University, Taungoo
  • Paku Divinity School

Educational opportunities in Myanmar are extremely limited outside the main cities of Yangon and Mandalay. In 2005, Bago Region had 578 post-primary schools, 119 middle schools and 132 high schools.[4] The following is a summary of the division public school system for the academic year of 2002-2003.[6]

AY 2002-2003 Primary Middle High
Schools 3972 227 95
Teachers 17,400 6600 2000
Students 544,000 194,000 71,000

The division is home to one national university, Pyay Technological University and two local universities, Pyay University and Taungoo University.


The general state of health care in Myanmar is poor. The military government spends anywhere from 0.5% to 3% of the country's GDP on health care, consistently ranking among the lowest in the world.[7][8] Although health care is nominally free, in reality, patients have to pay for medicine and treatment, even in public clinics and hospitals. Public hospitals lack many of the basic facilities and equipment. Moreover, the health care infrastructure outside of Yangon and Mandalay is extremely poor. For example, in 2003, Bago Region had less than a quarter of hospital beds than Yangon Region whose population was just slighter greater.[9] More shocking still, in 2005, this division of five million had only 399 doctors in its public hospitals.[4]

2002–2003 # Hospitals # Beds
Specialist hospitals 0 0
General hospitals with specialist services 2 400
General hospitals 28 958
Health clinics 46 736
Total 76 2094

Notable sites[edit]

Kyaik Pun Paya


  1. ^ "Division and State Administrations". Alternative Asean Network on Burma. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Summary of the Provisional Results. Ministry of Immigration and Population. August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Population of Myanmar -- Divisions and States". City Population. Archived from the original on 22 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-02. 
  4. ^ a b c "Members of Bago Division (West) USDA implementing development tasks in rural areas". The New Light of Myanmar. 2005-05-12. 
  5. ^ Page 8 Col 3
  6. ^ "Education statistics by level and by State and Division". Myanmar Central Statistical Organization. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  7. ^ "PPI: Almost Half of All World Health Spending is in the United States". 2007-01-17. 
  8. ^ Yasmin Anwar (2007-06-28). 06.28.2007 "Burma junta faulted for rampant diseases". UC Berkeley News. 
  9. ^ "Hospitals and Dispensaries by State and Division". Myanmar Central Statistical Organization. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 

External links[edit]