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Anawrahta Minsaw (Burmese: , pronounced: [njt m

s]; 11 May 1014 11 April 1077) was the founder of the Pagan Empire.
Considered the father of the Burmese nation, Anawrahta turned a small
principality in the dry zone of Upper Burma into the first Burmese Empire
that formed the basis of modern-day Burma (Myanmar).[2][3] Historically
verifiable Burmese history begins with his accession to the Pagan throne in
Anawrahta unified the entire Irrawaddy valley for the first time in history, and
placed peripheral regions such as the Shan States and Arakan (Northern
Rakhine) under Pagan's suzerainty. He successfully stopped the advance of
Khmer Empire into Tenasserim coastline and into Upper Menam valley,
making Pagan one of two main kingdoms in mainland Southeast Asia.
A strict disciplinarian, Anawrahta implemented a series of key social,
religious and economic reforms that would have a lasting impact in Burmese
history. His social and religious reforms later developed into the modern-day
Burmese culture. By building a series of weirs, he turned parched, arid
regions around Pagan into the main rice granaries of Upper Burma, giving
Upper Burma an enduring economic base from which to dominate the
Irrawaddy valley and its periphery in the following centuries. He bequeathed
a strong administrative system that all later Pagan kings followed until the
dynasty's fall in 1287. The success and longevity of Pagan's dominance over
the Irrawaddy valley laid the foundation for the ascent of Burmese language
and culture, the spread of Burman ethnicity in Upper Burma.
Anawrahta's legacy went far beyond the borders of modern Burma. His
embrace of Theravada Buddhism and his success in stopping the advance of
Khmer Empire, a Hindu state, provided the Buddhist school, which had been
in retreat elsewhere in South and Southeast Asia, a much needed reprieve
and a safe shelter. He helped restart Theravada Buddhism in Ceylon, the
Buddhist school's original home. The success of Pagan dynasty made
Theravada Buddhism's later growth in Lan Na (northern Thailand), Siam
(central Thailand), Lan Xang (Laos), and Khmer Empire (Cambodia) in the
13th and 14th centuries possible.

Anawrahta is one of the most famous kings in Burmese history. His life
stories (legends) are a staple of Burmese folklore and retold in popular
literature and theater.


Statue of Anawrahta
King of Burma
11 August 1044 11 April 1077

16 December 1044



11 May 1014
Tuesday, 11th waxing of Nayon
376 ME
Pagan (Bagan)
11 April 1077 (aged 62)
Tuesday, 3rd waning of Kason
439 ME

Agga Mahethi[1]
Pyinsa Kalayani
Saw Mon Hla
Full name
Min Saw
Maha Yaza Thiri Aniruddha Dewa
House Pagan
Father Kunhsaw Kyaunghpyu
Mother Myauk Pyinthe
Theravada Buddhism converted
from Ari Buddhism