BODAWPAYA (Burmese : ဘိုးတော်ဘုရား,
pronounced ; Thai : ปดุง; 11 March 1745 – 5 June 1819) was
the sixth king of the Konbaung
Burma . Born MAUNG SHWE
WAING and later BADON MIN, he was the fourth son of
founder of the dynasty and the Third Burmese Empire. He was proclaimed
king after deposing his nephew
Phaungkaza Maung Maung , son of his
Naungdawgyi , at Ava .
Bodawpaya moved the royal
capital back to
Amarapura in 1782. He was titled HSINBYUMYASHIN (Lord
of the White Elephants), although he became known to posterity as
Bodawpaya in relation to his successor, his grandson
Elder Uncle), who in turn was given this name in relation to his
Mindon Min . He fathered 62 sons and 58 daughters by about 200
* 1 Military expeditions
* 2 Religion and culture
* 3 References
* 4 Bibliography
* 5 External links
Depiction of King
Bodawpaya at the
Amarapura palace in 1795
(British Embassy of Michael Symes).
Also known as BODAW U WAING, he invaded Arakan in 1784 sending his
royal armies led by his son, the Heir Apparent
Thado Minsaw , across
the Western Yoma range of mountains. The capital of Arakan
Mrauk U was
captured on the last of 1784. The
Mahamuni Buddha image, among other
treasures such as the Khmer bronze statues, were brought back to
mainland Burma; these can still be seen in
Mandalay . Also taken were
20,000 captives as slaves to pagodas and temples, and the nobility at
Amarapura. Once Arakan was annexed as a province of Burma, her borders
became contiguous with British India . The Arakanese revolted in 1794,
and the British Governor of India Sir John Shore (later Lord
Teignmouth) sent Captain Michael Symes on an embassy, fully equipped
to gather as much information as possible about the country, to the
Court of Ava as the kingdom was still known to the outside world.
Bodawpaya invaded Siam in 1785 , and was defeated. The Governor of
Tavoy revolted in 1791 with the aid of the Siamese , but a punitive
expedition sent by
Bodawpaya by sea laid siege ending in peace
negotiations in 1793 and the ceding of the Tenasserim coast to the
Burmese. He invaded Siam again in 1809 , but was fended off by Maha
Senanurak and the heroines,
Chan and Mook
Chan and Mook .
In 1816, the Ahom governor of
Assam , Badan Chandra
Borphukan visited the court of
Bodawpaya to seek help in order to
defeat his political rival Purnananda
Burhagohain , the Prime Minister
Ahom Kingdom in
Assam . A strong force of 16,000 under the command
of Gen. Maha Minhla Minkhaung was sent with Badan Chandra
The Burmese force entered
Assam in January, 1817 and defeated the
Assamese force in the battle of Ghiladhari. Meanwhile, Purnananda
Burhagohain died, and Ruchinath
Burhagohain , the son of Purnananda
Burahgohain fled to Guwahati. The reigning Ahom king Chandrakanta
Singha came in terms with Badan Chandra
Borphukan and his Burmese
allies. The King appointed Badan Chandra
Borphukan as Mantri Phukan
(Prime Minister) and an Ahom princess Hemo Aideo was given for
marriage to Burmese King
Bodawpaya along with many gifts. The Burmese
force retired from
Assam soon after. A year later, Badan Chandra
Borphukan was assassinated and the Ahom king
Chandrakanta Singha was
deposed by rival political faction led by Ruchinath Burhagohain, the
son of Purnananda
Chandrakanta Singha and the friends of
Borphukan appeal for help to Bodawpaya. In February
1819, the Burmese forces invaded
Assam for second time and reinstalled
Chandrakanta Singha on the throne of Assam.
RELIGION AND CULTURE
Bodawpaya's tomb in Amarapura.
Bodawpaya proclaimed himself the next messianic Buddha or Maitreya
(Arimittya), but his claim was firmly rejected by the Sangha .
During his reign, scholarship flourished due to the discipline and
stability achieved by establishing a chapter of Sangharajas or senior
monks charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the purity of
the Sangha. He had successfully arbitrated in favour of orthodoxy to
cover both shoulders on the alms round in the controversy concerning
the correct way of wearing the robes, and the Order of Monks was
unified under the Thudhamma order .
Burma became the custodian of
Buddhism in the region, and the upasampada ordination was
Sri Lanka where it established the
The unfinished Mantalagyi Stupa, intended to be the largest stupa
in the world
Bodawpaya began the construction of a gigantic stupa called
Mantalagyi (Great Royal Stupa) at
Mingun , 11 km up the River
Mandalay on the west bank. It was however never
finished after a prophecy went round saying Payagyi lè apyi that,
moksoe thonnya kap – "Once the great pagoda has been wrought, the
Moksoe dynasty will come to nought"
မုဆိုးသုညကပ်။). It was meant to have stood
150 metres, tall enough to be seen from
Shwebo in the west, the
birthplace of the dynasty, towering above the Minwun Hills. An
earthquake in 1838 left huge fissures in the structure, and also
caused the heads of the two gigantic chinthes to fall into the river.
There was also a gigantic 90 ton bell dedicated to the stupa called
Mingun Bell , cast between 1808 and 1810. It was the largest
ringing bell in the world, as the larger bell in
Moscow Kremlin called
Tsar bell is broken, until the larger
Bell of Good Luck was cast
and first rung for the new year in 2000. During his reign Bodawpaya
also proved to be a great patron of the performing arts; he appointed
a minister called Thabin Wun (သဘင်ဝန်), and established
strict regulations by royal decree (အမိန့်တော် a
meint daw). He also ordered a major economic survey of the kingdom in
Bodawpaya was succeeded after his death in 1819 by his grandson,
Sagaing , who later became known as
Bagyidaw . The Heir
Apparent, father of Bagyidaw, had died in 1808.
* ^ A B C Christopher Buyers. "The Konbaung
Dynasty Genealogy: King
Bodawpaya". royalark.net. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
* ^ A B D.G.E.Hall (1960).
Burma (PDF). Hutchinson University
Library. pp. 93–95. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 May 2005.
* ^ A B C Michael Symes (1800). An Account of an Embassy to the
Kingdom of Ava, sent by the Governor-General of India, in the year
1795 (PDF). London: W. Bulmer & Co. pp. 39–40. Retrieved 2007-03-15.
* ^ E. A. Gait 1926 A History of Assam: 225–227
* ^ Dr. S.K. Bhuyan 1968 Tungkhungia Buranji or A History of
Assam(1681–1826) : 197–203
* ^ A B "Bodawpaya". Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
* ^ A B Bischoff, Roger (1995). Buddhism in Myanmar – A Short
History (PDF). Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society. pp.
* ^ "Mingun". Myanmar's Net Inc. Retrieved 2007-03-14.
* ^ "The
Mingun Bell". Myanmar's Net Inc. Archived from the
original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2007.
* ^ "The World\'s Three Largest Bells". Blagovest Bells. Retrieved
* ^ Dr.
Khin Maung Nyunt (1998). "King Bodawpaya\'s Dramatic
Performance Law". Perspective. Archived from the original on 27
September 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2007.
* Charney, Michael W. (2006). Powerful Learning: Buddhist Literati
and the Throne in Burma's Last Dynasty, 1752–1885. Ann Arbor:
University of Michigan.
* Koenig, William J. "The Burmese Polity, 1752–1819: Politics,
Administration, and Social Organization in the early Kon-baung
Period", Michigan Papers on South and Southeast Asia, Number 34, 1990.
* Lieberman, Victor B. “ Political Consolidation in
the Early Konbaung Dynasty, 1752-c. 1820.” Journal of Asia History
30.2 (1996): 152–168.
* Hall, D.G.E. (1960).
Burma (3rd ed.). Hutchinson University
Library. ISBN 978-1406735031 .
* Harvey, G. E. (1925). History of Burma: From the Earliest Times to
10 March 1824. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd.
* Htin Aung, Maung (1967). A History of Burma. New York and London:
Cambridge University Press.
* Letwe Nawrahta and Twinthin Taikwun (c. 1770). Hla Thamein, ed.
Alaungpaya Ayedawbon (in Burmese) (1961 ed.). Ministry of Culture,
Union of Burma.
* Maung Maung Tin, U (1905). Konbaung Hset Maha Yazawin (in
Burmese). 1–3 (2004 ed.). Yangon: Department of Universities History
Research, University of Yangon.
* Myint-U, Thant (2006). The River of Lost Footsteps—Histories of
Burma. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-16342-6 .
* Phayre, Lt. Gen. Sir Arthur P. (1883). History of
ed.). London: Susil Gupta.
* Wanderings in
Burma by George W Bird, 1897 F J Bright
font-size:90%; margin:2em">BORN: 11 March 1745 DIED: 5 June 1819