Timeline of Burmese history

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This is a timeline of Burmese history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Burma and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Burma. See also the list of Burmese leaders.

Millennia: 2nd BCE–1st BCE · 1st–2nd · 3rd
Centuries: 15th BCE · 14th BCE · 13th BCE · 12th BCE · 11th BCE · 10th BCE · 9th BCE · 8th BCE · 7th BCE · 6th BCE · 5th BCE · 4th BCE · 3rd BCE · 2nd BCE · 1st BCE

15th century BCE[edit]

Year Date Event
1500s BCE Earliest evidence of copper and bronze works, rice growing, domesticating chickens and pigs in Irrawaddy valley

14th century BCE[edit]

13th century BCE[edit]

12th century BCE[edit]

11th century BCE[edit]

10th century BCE[edit]

9th century BCE[edit]

8th century BCE[edit]

7th century BCE[edit]

6th century BCE[edit]

5th century BCE[edit]

Year Date Event
500 BCE Iron-working settlements south of present day Mandalay

4th century BCE[edit]

3rd century BCE[edit]

2nd century BCE[edit]

Year Date Event
180 BCE Beikthano city fortified by Pyu people who had entered the Irrawaddy valley from north; beginning of Pyu city-states

1st century BCE[edit]

Centuries: 1st · 2nd · 3rd · 4th · 5th · 6th · 7th · 8th · 9th · 10th · 11th · 12th · 13th · 14th · 15th · 16th · 17th · 18th · 19th · 20th

1st century[edit]

Year Date Event
70 Pyu city of Halin in existence

2nd century[edit]

Year Date Event
200 The Pyu convert to Buddhism (to 400)

3rd century[edit]

4th century[edit]

5th century[edit]

6th century[edit]

7th century[edit]

Year Date Event
7th century Mon migrations to Lower Burma from Haribhunjaya and Dvaravati (present-day Thailand) (to 900)
640 21 March The Pyu of Sri Ksetra Kingdom launch the Burmese calendar with the start date of 22 March 638.[note 1]

8th century[edit]

9th century[edit]

Year Date Event
825 The Mon found city of Pegu
832 Pyu city-states destroyed by Nanzhao raids. Burman migrations to Upper Burma begin en masse
849 23 December Burmans found city of Pagan, and Pagan Kingdom

10th century[edit]

Year Date Event
c. 980 Earliest evidence of Pagan walls
984 Earliest evidence of Burmese alphabet (according to an 18th-century recast stone inscription)[1]

11th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1004 Pagan sends embassy to Song court at Bianjing
1035 Earliest evidence of Burmese alphabet (at the Mahabodhi Temple, India)[2]
1044 16 December Anawrahta ascends to Pagan throne
1050s Anawrahta founds Pagan Empire including, Thaton, near Shan States, North Arakan, Tenasserim (to 1060)
1056 Anawrahta converted to Theravada Buddhism by Shin Arahan
1057 17 May Pagan conquers Thaton Kingdom according to the Burmese chronicles
1071 Anawrahta helps restart Theravada Buddhism in Ceylon
1082–1084 Rebellion in Lower Burma by Yamankan
1090 Kyansittha builds Ananda Temple

12th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1102 Earliest inscription of the word Mranma (Myanmar) (in Mon script)[3]
1106 Burmese embassy to Song China
1113 Myazedi inscription, earliest evidence of a more settled Burmese script
1118 Pagan restores Letyaminnan to north Arakanese throne
1144 Alaungsithu builds Thatbyinnyu Temple
1170 Affirmation of Burman leadership of Pagan: Burmese script becomes the primary script, replacing Mon and Pyu scripts
1174 Narapatisithu founds the Royal Burmese Armed Forces, the first known standing army in Burmese history
1180 Ceylonese raids to Bassein (Pathein)
Schism develops in Burmese Buddhism; majority of monks shift to Mahavihara school
1190 The word Mranma first appears in Burmese[3]
1200 Dhamaavisala Dhammathat code of law compiled

13th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1210 Kyaukse weir built
1218 Htilominlo builds Htilominlo Temple, the last of the great temples
1273 Mien (for Mranma) first mentioned in Chinese[3]
1277 April Mongol invasions begin (to 1301)
1279 21 April Toungoo (Taungoo) founded as a Pagan frontier outpost[note 2]
1281 Wareru seizes governorship of Martaban (Mottama)
1287 4 April Wareru declares independence and founds Kingdom of Ramanya (later Hanthawaddy Kingdom)[note 3]
December King Narathihapate is assassinated, and Pagan Empire breaks up into multiple regional power centers.
1294 Hanthawadddy receives recognition as a tributary of Sukhothai Kingdom
1297 20 March Kyawswa receives recognition by the Mongol Emperor as a Mongol vassal[4]
17 December Kyawswa overthrown and Myinsaing Kingdom founded[4]
1298 March–April Hanthawadddy receives recognition as a tributary of the Mongols[4]

14th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1301 15 January – 6 April Last Mongol invasion fails to topple Myinsaing[5]
1303 4 April Mongols evacuate Tagaung, retreat to Yunnan[5]
1310 13 April Thihathu becomes the sole ruler of Myinsaing[6]
1313 11 February Thihathu moves capital to Pinya[7]
1315 16 May Myinsaing Kingdom splits into Sagaing Kingdom and Pinya Kingdom[8]
1330 Hanthawaddy defeats Sukhothai; throws off nominal allegiance to Sukhothai
1359 Massive Shan raids into Upper Burma begin (to 1368)
1362 Binnya U raises the height of the Shwedagon Pagoda to 66 feet
1364 April–September Maw Shans of Mogaung topple Sagaing and Pinya kingdoms. Thadominbya founds Ava Kingdom.
1365 26 February Capital of Ava (Inwa) founded
1369 Capital of Hanthawaddy moved to Pegu (Bago)
1371 Shan State of Kale becomes tributary of Ava
1374 North Arakan asks for a Burmese regent
1385 Forty Years' War between Ava and Hanthawaddy Pegu begins
1389 Razadarit consolidates all three Mon-speaking regions in Lower Burma

15th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1406 Arakan vassal to Ava or Hanthawaddy Pegu (To Ava: 1406–1407, 1412–1413; To Pegu 1407–1412; 1413–1422/(1430?) (to 1430)
Ava conquers Shan States of Mohnyin, Mogaung, Hsipaw
1417 24 March Minyekyawswa killed in action; Forty Years' War peters out
1430 16 November Min Saw Mon founds city of Mrauk-U[9]
1437 Mrauk-U conquers Thandwe, unifying the entire Arakan coast for the first time
1459 Mrauk-U conquers Chittagong
1446 Chinese invade Upper Burma, demanding surrender of a runaway Shan chief. His dead body was given up. Chinese records say events occurred in 1448–1449
1450 Binnya Kyan increases the height of the Shwedagon Pagoda to 302 feet
Rise of early Burmese vernacular literature
1480 Multiple rebellions by its vassals against Ava's rule. Prome, Yamethin and Mohnyin break away (to 1490)
1482 Thado Minsaw successfully breaks away from Ava, founds Prome Kingdom
1485 Mingyi Nyo becomes ruler of Toungoo; stays loyal to Ava

16th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1502 Ava cedes Kyaukse to Toungoo to buy its loyalty, and cedes Shwebo District to Mohnyin
1510 16 October Toungoo declares independence from Ava
1527 14 March Confederation of Shan States conquer Ava, installs its nominee to Ava throne
1538 c. November–December Tabinshwehti of Toungoo Dynasty captures Pegu
1539 Capital of Toungoo Kingdom moved to Pegu
1541 May Tabinshwehti consolidates Lower Burma and captures Upper Burma up to Pagan (to July 1544)
1547 30 January Min Bin and Tabinshwehti agree to a truce, ending Toungoo–Mrauk-U War (1546–47)
1547–49 Burmese invasion of Siam fails
1550 30 April Tabinshwehti assassinated
1555 22 January Bayinnaung captures Ava, and annexes Upper Burma
1557 January–March Bayinnaung annexes cis-Salween Shan States; abolishes animal sacrifice at Popa Hill and human sacrifice at Shan Hills
1558 2 April Bayinnaung annexes Lan Na
1563 April Bayinnaung captures farther Shan States (Kengtung and Chinese Shan states)
1564 18 February Siam becomes Burmese vassal following the Burmese–Siamese War (1563–64)
1569 2 August Burmese–Siamese War (1568–69) restores Burmese rule in Siam after the Siamese revolted in 1568
1574 November Burma conquers Lan Xang
1584 3 May Siam declares independence
1584–95 Repeated Burmese invasions fail to reconquer Siam. Siam regains Tenasserim coast up to Mawlamyaing
1597 All regions of the kingdom now in revolt
1599 Fall of First Toungoo Empire after Pegu sacked by the Arakanese and Toungoo (city) forces. Siam captures the entire Tenasserim coast to Martaban. Arakanese capture delta ports; appoint Portuguese mercenary de Brito governor of Syriam
Siamese invasions take Martaban (1600) and Lan Na (1602) (to 1605)
1600 Nyaungyan restores central rule to Upper Burma and Shan States (to 1606)

17th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1603 De Brito at Syriam declares independence from Arakan, repels Arakanese attacks (to 1605)
1609 Portuguese mercenary Tibao captures Sandwip in East Bengal, northernmost Arakanese territory
1613 29 March Anaukpetlun captures Portuguese Syriam
1614 December Anaukpetlun recaptures the Tenasserim coast down to Tavoy, and all of Lan Na
1617 Min Khamaung recovers Sandwip. Beginning of Arakanese raids on Dakha
1619 English East India Company sends a representative to Pegu
1625 Arakanese sack Dakha
1627 English and Dutch East India companies open branches in Burma
1635 Capital moved to Ava from Pegu
1638 Thalun's revenue inquest
1660 Arakanese use coined currency
1658 Yongli Emperor of Ming China given refuge at Sagaing
1659–1661 Renegade Ming forces occupy near Shan states and attack Ava
1662 15 January Surrender of the Yongli Emperor to Qing forces
Siamese invasion of Lan Na and Tenasserim repelled (to 1664)
1666 January Mogul Empire defeats Arakan and captures Chittagong Province
1677 English and Dutch East India companies close branches in Burma
1683 Dutch East India Company closes its branch in Arakan
1688 French East India Company opens a branch in Syriam

18th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1709 English open a branch in Syriam
1724 The Manipuris raid Upper Burma (to 1749)
1727 October Lan Na revolts; defeats Ava's attacks (1727–1728) and (1731–1732)
1735 China annexes northern Shan States (present-day Kachin State, northern Shan State, and trans-Salween Shan State)
1740 29 November The Mon of Lower Burma break away, found Restored Hanthawaddy Kingdom
Restored Hanthawaddy gradually pushes upcountry and captures Ava, ending the Tougnoo Dynasty. The Siamese move up their control up the Tenasserim coast, taking Tavoy and then Martaban by 1751 (to March 1752)
1752 29 February Alaungpaya founds the Konbaung Dynasty
23 March Toungoo Dynasty falls
20 April Konbaung-Hanthawaddy War begins
1753 26 April English seize Negrais
1755 5 May Alaungpaya captures Dagon, having conquered the Irrawaddy delta in April
1756 25 July Alaungpaya captures French-defended Syriam.
Alaungpaya sends a punitive expedition to Manipur
1757 6 May Pegu captured; end of Restored Hanthawaddy
1758 November Konbaung armies overrun Manipur, reassert Burmese authority in northern Shan States which had been annexed by the Chinese in the 1730s (to 1759)
1759 6 October English driven out at Negrais
1760 May Burmese invasion of Siam falls short; regains the Tenasserim coast to Tavoy
1763 January Lanna rebellion put down
1765 January–March Burmese armies capture Laotian states of Luang Prabang and Vientiane
March Hsinbyushin puts down a rebellion in Manipur
23 July Capital moved to Ava
23 August Start of Burmese–Siamese War (1765–67)
December Start of Chinese invasions (1765–69) of Burma
1767 7 April Burmese armies sack Ayutthaya; end of Ayutthaya Kingdom
1768 January–March Burmese armies withdrawn from Siam and redeployed to the Chinese front. Burmese defenses against the Chinese invasions held. Siam recaptures all of its territories (except Tenasserim) (to 1770)
1769 22 December End of Sino-Burmese War
1770 January Rebellion in Manipur put down
1775 15 January Lan Na (Chiang Mai) revolts, seeks and receives Siamese help.
April Hsinbyushin raises the Shwedagon Pagoda to its present height
November Another Burmese invasion of Siam fails; Southern Lan Na becomes Siamese vassal (to 1776)
1778 December Laotian states (Luang Prabang and Vientiane) stop paying tribute, switch sides to Siam
1783 13 May Capital moved to Amarapura
1785 2 January Konbaung armies capture Mrauk U, ending five centuries of Arakanese independence
Bodawpaya's invasion of Siam fails; Lan Na now firmly in Siamese camp (to 1786)
1787 Defeats Siamese invasion of Tenasserim
1790 Resumes diplomatic relationship with China
1792 Defeats another Siamese invasion of Tenasserim
1797 Burmese invasion of Lan Na and Luang Prabang fails

19th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1802 Ceylonese monks seek ordination at Amarapura
1803 Siamese invasion of Kengtung fails (to 1804)
1809 Burmese invasion of Junkceylon (Phuket) fails (to 1812)
1814 February Burma annexes Manipur
1817 Assam becomes tributary to Burma
1819 Burmese put down rebellions in Assam and Manipur
1822 3 June Burmese put down another rebellion in Assam, and make it a Burmese province
1824 5 March Start of First Anglo-Burmese War
1826 24 February End of First Anglo-Burmese War; Burma cedes Arakan, Assam, Manipur and Tenasserim
1849 Defeats Siamese invasion of Kengtung (to 1855)
1852 Second Anglo-Burmese War; British seize Lower Burma
1853 British expand Rangoon (modern-day downtown Yangon)
1859 23 May Mindon moves capital to newly founded city of Mandalay
1866 Head of reform movement, Crown Prince Kanaung is assassinated.
1871 Fifth Buddhist council convenes
1875 March Mindon cedes Karenni States to the British to avoid annexation
1878 Rangoon College founded
1885 29 November Third Anglo-Burmese War; end of Burmese monarchy
1886 British "pacification" of Burma (to 1896)
1 January Burma is proclaimed a British colony. February: Burma is proclaimed a province of British India

20th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1920 First Rangoon University strike
1921 The Dyarchy reforms begin
1930 Nationalist and leftist Dobama Asiayone founded
Peasants' rebellion (to 1932)
1936 Second Rangoon University strike
1937 Burma is separated from British India and becomes a separate colony
1938 Third Rangoon University strike and nationwide strikes
1941 Burma Independence Army formed with Japanese help
1942 Japanese occupation of Burma. Thai occupation of Kengtung (to 1945)
1945 Return of British rule
1947 12 February Panglong Agreement signed by Shan, Kachin, Chin and Burman leaders to gain independence from the British[10]
19 July Aung San and most of his cabinet assassinated. U Nu and his AFPFL party prepare to take power from the British by finishing Burma’s first constitution[11]
24 September 1947 Constitution guarantees the Federated Shan States (later Shan and Kayah states), Kachin State, and Karen State, the right to secede after a period of ten years after independence
1948 4 January Burma gains independence from the United Kingdom with U Nu as Prime Minister[12]
1949 Insurgencies begin
1950 Burmese Army repels Nationalist Chinese invasion of Shan State (to 1953)
1958 Caretaker government, led by army Chief of Staff General Ne Win, formed following a split in the ruling AFPFL party. (Caretaker Gov. rule till 1960)
1960 U Nu's party faction wins decisive victory in 1960 elections, but his promotion of Buddhism as the state religion and his tolerance of separatism angers the military.
1961 U Thant becomes 3rd Secretary-General of the United Nations. Yangon hosts Second Southeast Asian Peninsular Games
1962 2 March Democratically elected government of U Nu is overthrown by Ne Win, who abolishes the federal system and inaugurates "the Burmese Way to Socialism" – nationalising the economy, forming a single-party state with the BSPP as the sole political party, and banning independent newspapers
7 July Government guns down student protesters
1969 Yangon hosts Fifth Southeast Asian Peninsular Games
1974 Ne Win proclaims a new constitution. Chin Special Division becomes Chin State; Mon State is created out of Tenasserim Division. Government guns down student protesters following U Thant's death
1985 Repeated demonetization of higher denomination kyat notes; Intensification of economic hardship on general populace (to 1987)
1988 Nationwide uprising brings down Ne Win's government. Military crushes protests, forms a ruling junta, promises elections
1989 Junta changes the English spellings of geographic names, including the country's name (to Myanmar)
1990 National League for Democracy wins 82% of the seats in the general election. Junta refuses to hand over power, jails NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi
Western nations and Japan begin economic sanctions against Myanmar
1991 Aung San Suu Kyi is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
1997 Myanmar is admitted to ASEAN

21st century[edit]

Year Date Event
2005 6 November Junta moves the capital to Naypyidaw
2007 Junta suppresses anti-government protests, killing scores of protesters, including Buddhist monks
2008 2008 Constitution reserves 25% of the seats in a bicameral Hluttaw to the military. Cyclone Nargis kills nearly 140,000 people and devastates the Irrawaddy delta
2010 21 October Government changes country's flag and its official name is adopted as "Republic of the Union of Myanmar"[10]
November The 2010 general election gives the victory to military-backed USDP[10]
November Aung San Suu Kyi is released from house arrest[10]
2011 31 January The first session of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (parliament) convenes
30 March Thein Sein becomes President of Burma
Reforms in Burma begins
2012 Economic sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States are eased
13 January Prominent political prisoners including Min Ko Naing are released
1 April National League for Democracy wins in by-elections
2 May Aung San Suu Kyi becomes a lawmaker
June–October Rakhine State riots occurs
2013 March–October Tensions between Buddhist and Muslim flare into violent clashes in various cities
11–17 October Bombings kill 3 people and injured 10
11–22 December 27th Southeast Asian Games takes place


  1. ^ (Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 2006: 143): The calendar was reset in year 640 CE. The starting epochal date of the Burmese calendar was 22 March 638. Year 2 of the Burmese calendar began on 21 March 640 per (Eade 1989: 39).
  2. ^ Hmannan Yazawin (Hmannan Vol. 2 2003: 161) says the city was founded on 9th waxing of Kason 641 ME (21 April 1279). Toungoo Yazawin (Sein Lwin Lay 2006: 19) agrees with the date 9th waxing of Kason 641 ME but also says it was a Monday. However, 21 April 1279 was a Friday. But a year later, 9th waxing of Kason 642 ME (8 April 1280) was a Monday.
  3. ^ (Pan Hla 2004: 25–26) says per Mon records King Wareru proclaimed independence on Thursday, 6th waning of Old Tagu 648 ME (4 April 1287), which is in contradiction with full moon of Tabodwe 649 (19 January 1288) per Burmese records. Pan Hla conjectures the January 1288 date is the date of coronation.


  1. ^ Aung-Thwin 2005: 198
  2. ^ Aung-Thwin 2005: 172, 198
  3. ^ a b c Hall 1960: 13
  4. ^ a b c Than Tun 1959: 119–120
  5. ^ a b Than Tun 1959: 122
  6. ^ Than Tun 1959: 123
  7. ^ Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 370
  8. ^ Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 375
  9. ^ Myanma Swezon Kyan Vol. 9 1964: 425
  10. ^ a b c d World Statesmen – Myanmar (Burma)
  11. ^ Burma Chronological History
  12. ^ Burma profile


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  • Royal Historical Commission of Burma (1832). Hmannan Yazawin (in Burmese) 1–3 (2003 ed.). Yangon: Ministry of Information, Myanmar. 
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