Kingdom of Mrauk U

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Kingdom of Mrauk-U
Kingdom, vassal of Bengal (1429-1433)

Capital Launggyet (1429–1430), Mrauk U (1430–1785)
Languages Arakanese
Religion Theravada Buddhism, Islam
Government Monarchy
 -  1429–1433 Narameithla
 -  Founding of dynasty 18 April 1429
 -  End of kingdom 2 January 1785
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The Kingdom of Mrauk-U was a kingdom based in the Arakanese city of Mrauk-U which ruled Arakan and parts of Bengal from 1429 to 1785.[1]


King Narameikhla (1404-1434), or Min Saw Mon, ruler of the Kingdom of Mrauk U in the early 15th century, after 24 years of exile in Bengal, regained control of the Arakanese throne in 1430 with military assistance from the Sultanate of Bengal. The Bengalis who came with him formed their own settlements in the region.[2]

Narameikhla ceded some territory to the Sultan of Bengal and recognized his sovereignity over the areas. In recognition of his kingdom's vassal status, the kings of Arakan received despite being Buddhists, and legalized the use of Islamic coins from Bengal within the kingdom. Narameikhla minted his own coins with Burmese characters on one side and Persian characters on the other. Arakan's vassalage to Bengal was brief. After Sultan Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah's death in 1433, Narameikhla's successors repaid Bengal by occupying Ramu in 1437 and Chittagong in 1459. Arakan would hold Chittagong until 1666.[3][4]

Even after gaining independence from the Sultans of Bengal, the Arakanese kings continued the custom of maintaining titles.[5] The kings compared themselves to Sultans and fashioned themselves after Mughal rulers, despite remaining Buddhist. They also continued to employ Muslims in prestigious positions within the royal administration.[6]

From 1531-1629, Portuguese pirates operated from havens along the coast of the kingdom and brought slaves in from Bengal to the kingdom. The Bengali Muslim population thus increased in the 17th century, as they were employed in a variety of workforces in Arakan. Some of them worked as Arabic, Bengali, and Persian scribes in the Arakanese courts, which, despite remaining mostly Buddhist, adopted Islamic fashions from the neighbouring Sultanate of Bengal.

See also[edit]



  • Charney, Michael W. (1993). 'Arakan, Min Yazagyi, and the Portuguese: The Relationship Between the Growth of Arakanese Imperial Power and Portuguese Mercenaries on the Fringe of Mainland Southeast Asia 1517-1617.' Masters dissertation, Ohio University. 
  • Hall, D.G.E. (1960). Burma (3rd ed.). Hutchinson University Library. ISBN 978-1-4067-3503-1. 
  • Harvey, G. E. (1925). History of Burma: From the Earliest Times to 10 March 1824. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd. 
  • Htin Aung, Maung (1967). A History of Burma. New York and London: Columbia University Press. 
  • Maung Maung Tin (1905). Konbaung Hset Maha Yazawin (in Burmese) 2 (2004 ed.). Yangon: Department of Universities History Research, University of Yangon. 
  • Myat Soe, ed. (1964). Myanma Swezon Kyan (in Burmese) 9 (1 ed.). Yangon: Sarpay Beikman. 
  • Myint-U, Thant (2006). The River of Lost Footsteps--Histories of Burma. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-16342-6. ISBN 0-374-16342-1. 
  • Phayre, Lt. Gen. Sir Arthur P. (1883). History of Burma (1967 ed.). London: Susil Gupta. 
  • Encyclopædia Britannica. 1984 Edition. Vol. VII, p. 76