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Arakan Mountains

Coordinates: 21°16′N 93°57′E / 21.267°N 93.950°E / 21.267; 93.950
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Arakan Mountains
Rakhine Mountains
View of the Arakan Mountains in Maungdaw district rising above the banks of the Naf River
Highest point
PeakMount Victoria
Elevation3,094 m (10,151 ft)
Coordinates21°25′46.36″N 93°49′10.75″E / 21.4295444°N 93.8196528°E / 21.4295444; 93.8196528
Native nameရခိုင်ရိုးမ (Burmese)
Arakan Mountains is located in Myanmar
Arakan Mountains
Arakan Mountains
The Arakan Mountains are an elongated range in western Myanmar
StateRakhine State
Range coordinates21°16′N 93°57′E / 21.267°N 93.950°E / 21.267; 93.950
Type of rockmetamorphic and tightly folded sedimentary rocks over crystalline basement

The Arakan Mountains, natively referred as Rakhine Yoma (Burmese: ရခိုင်ရိုးမ) and technically known as the Southern Indo-Burman Range, are a mountain range in western Myanmar, between the coast of Rakhine State and the Central Myanmar Basin, in which flows the Irrawaddy River. It is the most prominent of a series of parallel ridges that arc through Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Myanmar.

The Arakan Mountains run from Cape Negrais in the south in to Manipur, India in the north. They include the Naga Hills, the Chin Hills, and the Patkai range which includes the Lushai Hills.[1] The mountain chain is submerged in the Bay of Bengal for a long stretch and emerges again in the form of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.


The word Arakan is derived from the Sanskrit word Rakshasa (राक्षस), a term used to refer to the inhabitants of the region.[2]

Geology and formation[edit]

The Arakan Mountains and the parallel arcs to the west and east were formed by compression as the Indian Plate collided with the Eurasian Plate approximately along the boundary between India and Myanmar which produced the Naga-Patkai foldbelt.[3][4]

High points[edit]

The Arakan Mountain Range is over 600 miles (950 km) long,[1] with about 250 miles (400 km) of actual mountains. The highest point in the range is Khonu Msung (or Mount Victoria) at 3,094 metres (10,151 ft).[citation needed]


The Arakan Mountains are crossed by a road between Ngape and Minbu and by an all-weather road from Taungup to Pyay on the Irrawaddy.[citation needed]


The Arakan Mountains divide the Rakhine coast from the rest of Myanmar, and thus have acted as a barrier between the peoples of central Myanmar and those of the Indian subcontinent. This played a role in fostering the separate development of the Rakhine people, both linguistically and culturally, from the Burmese. The Arakan Mountains also served as a barrier inhibiting Burmese invasions, and allowing Arakan to develop as a separate political entity. Thus the coastal cities, such as Mrauk U and Waithali, formed the core of Arakan civilization.[citation needed]

There were fierce battles in these mountains between January 1943 and March 1944 during the Japanese occupation of Burma. The Japanese 33rd and 55th Divisions faced the British military on the coastal side of the range. The British forces won.[citation needed]


The Arakan Mountains act as a barrier to the southwestern monsoon rains and thus shield the central Myanmar area, making their western slopes extraordinarily wet during the monsoon with typically over 1 metre (39 in) of rain per month, and the eastern slopes much drier.[1] They include the Chin Hills-Arakan Yoma montane forests ecoregion which is home to an elephant population and also the critically endangered Arakan forest turtle which was considered extinct until its rediscovery in 1994.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Rakhine Mountains". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 9 Nov 2013.
  2. ^ The Indian Magazine and Review, Issues 265-276. National Indian Association in Aid of Social Progress and Education in India. 1893. p. 403.
  3. ^ See Geology of India#Plate tectonics for more detail.
  4. ^ Akhtar, Mohammad S. et al. (2010) "Structural Style and Deformation History of Assam & Assam Arakan Basin, India: from Integrated Seismic Study" (adapted from oral presentation at AAPG Annual Convention, Denver, Colorado, June 7–10, 2009)
  5. ^ Platt, K.; Rahman, S.; Horne, B.D.; Praschag, P. (2020). "Heosemys depressa". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T39596A2929864. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T39596A2929864.en. Retrieved 26 October 2022. Listed as Critically Endangered (CR A2cd+4cd v3.1)

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