The Golden MRAUK-U,An Ancient Capital of Rakhine By U Shwe Zan

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Mrauk-U is an ornament of the Rakhine
culture. Its name suggests the fullfilment
of endeavours. Between 1430 AD and 1785 AD it was the last capital of the powerful Rakhine kings where Rakhine culture had its full bloom.The golden days of Mrauk-U city, those of 16th and 17th centuries, were contemporary
to the days of Tudor kings, the Moghuls,
the Ayuthiya kings and Inwa, Taungoo and Hanthawaddy kings of Myanmar.
Mrauk-Uwas cosmopolitan city, fortified
by a 30-kilometer long fortification and an
intricate net of moats and canals. At the
centre of the city was the Royal Palace,
looming high over the surrounding area like an Asian Acropolis. Waterways formed by canals and creeks earned the fame of distinct resemblance to Venice.
Mrauk-U offers some of the richest
archaeological sites in South-East Asia. While Bagan is considered as the city of
pagodas, Mrauk-U, the last stronghold of the Mrauk:-U kings could be truely considered as the fortress city in Myanmar.Mrauk-U’s rich heritage is evidenced by many magnificent monuments and pagodas as the massive Shitethaung that houses a rich array of Lord Buddha’s previous lives and also the figurines of Rakhine culture of that period.The colossal Htukkant Thein,an ordination hall with several images
exhibiting clothing popular in the 16th
century, richly decorated central pillar of
Anndaw Thein, auspicious Lemyathna
Pagoda, coloured plaque Laung- bwannbrauk Pagoda, conical structures of victory pagodas like, Ratana Manaung, Mungala Manaung,Sakya Manaung, Zina Manaung and Loka Manaung, elaborately carved Pitaka libraries and countless others that have rarely been seen by foreign visitors-all superb stone-works.”In durability, architectural skill and ornamentation, Mrauk-U temples far surpass those on the banks of Irrawaddy” remarked Dr. Forchhammer, a renowned archaeologist,in his book entitled “Arakan”.Mrauk-U is a historical site where visitors can also witness edifices, sculptures, moats,citywalls, fortresses, reservoirs, city gates etc., still standing in various parts of the city as a mute evidence to the glory of an erstwhile Rakhine Kingdom.Numismatic studies have unveiled that coin-making was popular in Rakhine as far back as 4th century. Rakhine coins-the Bull coins of Vesali and the Crown coins of Mrauk-U periods are displayed at the Archaeological Museum in Mrauk-U. Some appreciations of Rakhine coins of different periods are inserted in this book for serious scholars.

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