Bago River

Coordinates: 16°45′57″N 96°11′48″E / 16.76583°N 96.19667°E / 16.76583; 96.19667
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Bago River
Native nameBurmese: ပဲခူးမြစ်
Physical characteristics
SourceSinhnamaung Mountain, Gyobingauk Township, Bago, Myanmar[1]
 • coordinates18°23′50″N 95°55′1″E / 18.39722°N 95.91694°E / 18.39722; 95.91694
 • elevation800 m (2,600 ft) (approximately)
2nd sourceDawe Dam and Reservoir, Letpadan Township, Bago, Myanmar
 • coordinates17°45′20″N 96°11′46″E / 17.75556°N 96.19611°E / 17.75556; 96.19611
 • elevation80 m (260 ft) (approximately)
MouthYangon River
 • location
Monkey Point, Yangon, Myanmar
 • coordinates
16°45′57″N 96°11′48″E / 16.76583°N 96.19667°E / 16.76583; 96.19667
 • elevation
1 m (3.3 ft)
Length331 km (206 mi)[2]
Basin size3,220 km2 (1,240 sq mi) [2]
 • average150 m (490 ft)[3]
 • maximum1,200 m (3,900 ft)
 • locationYangon River
Basin features
ProgressionBago River→ Yangon RiverAndaman Sea
 • left
 • rightBago-Sittaung Canal
Bago River as seen from the Thanlyin Bridge

Bago River (Burmese: ပဲခူးမြစ်; Pegu River) is a river of southern Myanmar. It flows through Bago and Yangon, joining the Yangon River south of downtown Yangon.[4]

The source of the Bago river comes from many streams in the hills of the Pegu Range[5] with the traditional choice for the source being Sinhnamaung Mountain in Letpadan Township.[1] Modern hydrological surveys find streams further north in Phyu Township that feed into the Bago River Basin.[3] The Bago River flows into Yangon Region meeting the Yangon River at Monkey Point, Botahtaung Township, below which the river is called the Yangon River.

Bago River further upstream

In 1608, the Portuguese mercenary Filipe de Brito e Nicote, known as Nga Zinka to the Burmese, plundered the Shwedagon Pagoda. His men took the 300-ton Great Bell of Dhammazedi using elephants and forced labour.[6] De Brito's intention was to melt the bell down to make cannons. but it fell into this river when he was carrying it across.[7]

Many people have tried to find the bell in the murky waters of the river, so far without success. Professional deep sea diver James Blunt has made 115 exploratory dives, using sonar images of objects in the area for guidance. To this date, it has not been recovered. Several Myanmar divers have died looking for it, including two navy divers who were trapped in a nearby wreck. The bell has since become an object of national superstition believing the search to be cursed and the bell's retrieval to be the key to the nation's rise out of poverty[6]


  1. ^ a b Myanmar Information Management Unit (December 19, 2019). Bago Myone Daethasaingyarachatlatmya ပဲခူမြို့နယ် ဒေသဆိုင်ရာအချက်လက်များ [Bago Township Regional Information] (PDF) (Report). MIMU. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Phue, H.T.; Cheunchooklin, S. (2020). "Existing Water Balance in the Bago River Basin, Myanmar". IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science. 552 (552): 012003. doi:10.1088/1755-1315/552/1/012003. S2CID 225252599.
  3. ^ a b Win, Shelly; Win Win Zin; Kawasaki, Akiyuki; Zin Mar Lar Tin San (June 2018). "Establishment of flood damage function models: a case study in the Bago River Basin, Myanmar". International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 28: 688–700. doi:10.1016/j.ijdrr.2018.01.030. S2CID 135356664.
  4. ^ Schellinger, Paul E. and Salkin, Robert M. (editors) (1996) "Bago (Myanmar)" International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania (volume 5) Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, Chicago, pp. 60-65, page 60, ISBN 1-884964-04-4
  5. ^ Seekins, Donald M. (2006) Historical dictionary of Burma (Myanmar) Scarecrow Press, Lanham, Maryland, page 357, ISBN 0-8108-5476-7
  6. ^ a b Aung Zaw (23 February 2018). "Chiming with History". The Irrawaddy. The Irrawaddy. Retrieved March 5, 2022.
  7. ^ "Myanmar's Largest Bell Underwater". Yangon, Myanmar: Myanmar's NET. 2007. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.