History of Myanmar

Kingdom of Dhanyawaddy
©Anonymous
300 Jan 1 - 370

Kingdom of Dhanyawaddy

Rakhine State, Myanmar (Burma)

Dhanyawaddy was the capital of the first Arakanese Kingdom, located in what is now Northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. The name is a corruption of the Pali word Dhannavati, which means "large area or rice cultivation or the rice bowl". Like many of its successors, the Kingdom of Dhanyawadi was based on trade between the East (pre-Pagan Myanmar, Pyu, China, the Mons), and the West (Indian subcontinent). Earliest recording evidence suggests the Arakanese civilization founded around the 4th century CE. "The presently dominant Rakhine are a Tibeto-Burman race, the last group of people to enter Arakan during 10th century and on.” Ancient Dhanyawadi lies west of the mountain ridge between the Kaladan and Le-mro rivers.Its city walls were made of brick, and form an irregular circle with a perimeter of about 9.6 kilometres (6.0 miles), enclosing an area of about 4.42 km2 (1,090 acres). Beyond the walls, the remains of a wide moat, now silted over and covered by paddy fields, are still visible in places. At times of insecurity, when the city was subject to raids from the hill tribes or attempted invasions from neighbouring powers, there would have been an assured food supply enabling the population to withstand a siege. The city would have controlled the valley and the lower ridges, supporting a mixed wet-rice and taungya (slash and burn) economy, with local chiefs paying allegiance to the king.

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