Sagaing Kingdom

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Kingdom of Sagaing

Capital Sagaing
Languages Burmese, Shan
Religion Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, animism
Government Monarchy
 -  1315–1327 Sawyun
 -  1327–1335 Tarabya I
 -  1339–1348 Kyaswa
 -  1352–1364 Minbyauk Thihapate
 -  Founding of Kingdom 16 May 1315
 -  Shan raids 1359–1364
 -  Fall of Sagaing April 1364

The Sagaing Kingdom (Burmese: စစ်ကိုင်းခေတ် [zəɡáɪɴ kʰɪʔ]) was a kingdom that ruled a part of central Burma (Myanmar) from 1315 to 1364. The kingdom was the western and northern half of the old Myinsaing Kingdom, which itself was one of many petty kingdoms that emerged after the fall of the Pagan Empire in 1287.

Led by Burmanized Shan kings, the kingdom occasionally clashed with the cross-river rival Pinya Kingdom for the control of central Burma but was largely kept on the defensive throughout its existence by Shan raids from the north. The Sagaing Kingdom collapsed in 1364 when the city of Sagaing was sacked by the Shan raiders from Mogaung.

The Kingdom of Ava, founded by Thadominbya, a Sagaing prince, came to replace both Sagaing and Pinya in 1364, and became the major kingdom of central Burma for the next 150 plus years.


Thihathu of Myinsaing consolidated his control of central Burma in April 1310, and moved his capital to Pinya in February 1313. Just three years later, on 16 May 1315 (12th waxing of Nayon 677 ME)[1]his eldest son Sawyun left for Sagaing, and took the western part of his father's kingdom. Sawyun had been upset with the king's decision to appoint an adopted son Uzana I as crown prince over his own son.[2][3]

While Sawyun nominally remained loyal to his father, after Thihathu's death in 1325, the two kingdoms formally went separate ways, with Pinya controlling central Burma east of the Irrawaddy river and Sagaing the western half.[3]

Rivalry with Pinya and Shan raids[edit]

Sawyun died in 1327, and was succeeded by Tarabya I, a Shan chief.[4] The two rival kingdoms were engaged in sporadic warfare against each other in the following years. But neither side could gain upper hand as they were more concerned about Shan raids from the north. Shan raids, principally from the Shan princely state of Mogaung, became more intensified in the late 1350s.[3][5] In the early 1360s, King Minbyauk Thihapate, a Shan chief himself, appointed his stepson Thadominbya as governor of Tagaung at the Shan border in the north to deal with the Shan problem.

End of Sagaing[edit]

In 1364, Mogaung in alliance with Sagaing's cross-river rival Pinya Kingdom attacked Sagaing's territories. (Actually, Mogaung did most of the fighting.) Mogaung's Shan raiders overran Tagaung and Thadominbya escaped with great difficulty. Minbyauk sent Thadominbya to prison for Thadominbya's failure to defend Tagaung. But Minbyauk himself fled Sagaing when the city was overrun by Mogaung forces in April of that year (Kason 726 ME). After Mogaung raiders left Sagaing, the people of Sagaing rallied around Thadominbya, who put Minbyauk to death.[2]


  1. ^ Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 375
  2. ^ a b Phayre 1883: 58–59
  3. ^ a b c Htin Aung 1967: 71–79
  4. ^ Than Tun 1959: 126
  5. ^ Lieberman 2003: 119–121


  • Htin Aung, Maung (1967). A History of Burma. New York and London: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Lieberman, Victor B. (2003). Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800–1830, volume 1, Integration on the Mainland. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-80496-7. 
  • Phayre, Lt. Gen. Sir Arthur P. (1883). History of Burma (1967 ed.). London: Susil Gupta. 
  • Royal Historical Commission of Burma (1832). Hmannan Yazawin (in Burmese) 1–3 (2003 ed.). Yangon: Ministry of Information, Myanmar. 
  • Than Tun (December 1959). "History of Burma: A.D. 1300–1400". Journal of Burma Research Society XLII (II).