Arakan or Rakhine, some History

Arakan (1287-1752), after Bagan fell the Arakanese went independent and to show that they are raids into on Burmese territory started. In retaliation, the Burmese invaded Arakan in 1406, forcing the king to flee and seek refuge in the sultanate of Bengal. After twenty-four years of exile, he prevailed upon the Bengal ruler, Narirud-din Shah, to restore him as the leader in the newly created vassal state.

To set a mark he founded a new capital at Mrauk-U or Myohaung in 1433. His successors wanted to extend this period of independence and offered Portuguese adventurers, such as Jao de Silviera, territorial and trade concessions in return for helping in the construction of fortifications, arms production, and in creating a fleet.

After this political maneuvering Arakan or today Rakhine was embarking on a golden age of independence. According to reports by the Augustinian friar Father Sebastien Manrique, who visited the area between 1628 and 1633, the outer city had a circumference of 19.2 kilometers. It was excellent designed with Portuguese help to make use of natural obstacles such as lakes, tidal rivers, and rocky hills as fortifications to counter the possibility of a Burmese invasion.

At Mrauk U a moated palace

surrounded by three concentric sandstone walls was at the heart of Mrauk-U. The main buildings consisted of an audience hall and private apartments built in the Burmese style of gilded and lacquered teak.

Mrauk U Arakan

Mrauk U Arakan in 1676