Pinya Kingdom

Last updated

Kingdom of Pinya

Burma c. 1350.png
Pinya Kingdom c. 1350
Capital Pinya
Common languages Burmese (official)
Mon, Shan
Theravada Buddhism,
Ari Buddhism, Animism
Uzana I
Kyawswa I
Historical era Warring states
17 December 1297
 Pinya Kingdom founded
7 February 1313
1315–17 (de facto)
1325 (de jure)
  Uzana IKyawswa I rivalry
 Maw raids
26 February 1365
1313140,000 km2 (54,000 sq mi)
1325100,000 km2 (39,000 sq mi)
136080,000 km2 (31,000 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Myinsaing Kingdom
Sagaing Kingdom Blank.png
Ava Kingdom Blank.png
Today part of Myanmar

The Pinya Kingdom (Burmese : ပင်းယခေတ်, pronounced  [pɪ́ɴja̰ kʰɪʔ] ) was the kingdom that ruled Central Myanmar (Burma) from 1313 to 1365. It was the successor state of Myinsaing, the polity that controlled much of Upper Burma between 1297 and 1313. Founded as the de jure successor state of the Pagan Empire by Thihathu, Pinya faced internal divisions from the start. The northern province of Sagaing led by Thihathu's eldest son Saw Yun successfully fought for autonomy in 1315−17, and formally seceded in 1325 after Thihathu's death.

Burmese language language spoken in Myanmar

The Burmese language is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Myanmar where it is an official language and the language of the Bamar people, the country's principal ethnic group. Although the Constitution of Myanmar officially recognizes the English name of the language as the Myanmar language, most English speakers continue to refer to the language as Burmese, after Burma, the older name for Myanmar. In 2007, it was spoken as a first language by 33 million, primarily the Bamar (Burman) people and related ethnic groups, and as a second language by 10 million, particularly ethnic minorities in Myanmar and neighboring countries.

Myanmar Republic in Southeast Asia

Myanmar, officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and also known as Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by India and Bangladesh to its west, Thailand and Laos to its east and China to its north and northeast. Myanmar is the largest of the mainland Southeast Asian states. To its south, about one third of Myanmar's total perimeter of 5,876 km (3,651 mi) forms an uninterrupted coastline of 1,930 km (1,200 mi) along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The country's 2014 census counted the population to be 51 million people. As of 2017, the population is about 54 million. Myanmar is 676,578 square kilometres in size. Its capital city is Naypyidaw, and its largest city and former capital is Yangon (Rangoon). Myanmar has been a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since 1997.

Myinsaing Kingdom

The Myinsaing Kingdom was the kingdom that ruled central Burma (Myanmar) from 1297 to 1313. Co-founded by three brothers from Myinsaing, it was one of many small kingdoms that emerged following the collapse of Pagan Empire in 1287. Myinsaing successfully fended off the second Mongol invasion in 1300–01, and went on to unify central Burma from Tagaung in the north to Prome (Pyay) in the south. The brothers' co-rule ended between 1310 and 1313, with the death of the two elder brothers. In 1315, the central Burmese state split into two rival states of Pinya and Sagaing. Central Burma would not be reunified until the rise of Ava five decades later.


The rump Pinya Kingdom was left embroiled in an intense rivalry between Thihathu's other sons Uzana I and Kyawswa I until 1344. Pinya had little control over its vassals; its southernmost vassals Toungoo (Taungoo) and Prome (Pyay) were practically independent. Central authority briefly returned during Kyawswa I's reign (1344−50) but broke down right after his death. In the 1350s, Kyawswa II repaired Pinya's long-strained relationship with Sagaing, in order to face off against the northern Shan state of Maw. Two Maw raids in 1358–59 and 1362–63 thoroughly devastated Pinya's countryside during which Toungoo successfully broke away. Narathu switched sides and aided the Maw attack on Sagaing in 1363–64. But after the Maw troops sacked both Sagaing and Pinya in succession in 1364, Thihathu's great grandson Thado Minbya of Sagaing seized both devastated capitals in 1364, and founded the Ava Kingdom in 1365.

Uzana I of Pinya was king of Pinya from 1325 to 1340. Of Pagan royalty, Uzana inherited a disunited kingdom, which fell apart right after his predecessor Thihathu's death. Not only could he not retake the northern Sagaing Kingdom but he also had little control over his southern vassals. Even in his core power base in present-day central Myanmar (Burma), Uzana faced a serious rival in his half-brother Kyawswa. He ultimately lost the power struggle, and abdicated the throne in 1340 to a regent. He lived out his last years as a monk in Mekkhaya.

Kyawswa I of Pinya

Kyawswa I of Pinya was king of Pinya from 1344 to 1350. His six-year reign briefly restored unity in southern Upper Burma although his authority over his southernmost vassals remained largely nominal. He suddenly died in 1350, and came to be regarded as one of the major Burmese folk spirits, known as Nga-zi Shin Nat.

Pinya Place in Mandalay Region, Myanmar

Pinya, or Vijayapura, was the capital of the Kingdom of Pinya, located near Ava, Mandalay Region, Myanmar. It was the residence of the Pinya dynasty who ruled this part of central Myanmar from 1313 to 1365. It was founded by King Thihathu as Wizayapura on 7 February 1313.

Pinya was a microcosm of the small kingdoms period (1287–1555) of Burmese history. Weakened by internal divisions, Pinya despite controlling two of the three main granaries never reached its potential. Although its successor Ava would prove more successful in reassembling major parts of the erstwhile empire, it too would be hampered by fierce regional rivalries, and Myanmar would remain divided into the mid-16th century.

The history of Myanmar covers the period from the time of first-known human settlements 13,000 years ago to the present day. The earliest inhabitants of recorded history were a Tibeto-Burman-speaking people who established the Pyu city-states ranged as far south as Pyay and adopted Theravada Buddhism.


Early period

Myinsaing regency

Myinsaing c. 1310 Burma c. 1310.PNG
Myinsaing c. 1310

Pinya was the successor state of Myinsaing, the polity that succeeded the Pagan Empire in Upper Burma. [note 1] After the Mongol invasions (1277–87), the Mongols seized northern Burma to Tagaung, and the rest of the empire broke up into several petty states. Pagan was left holding only a small region around the capital. In 1297, the three former Pagan commanders— Athinkhaya, Yazathingyan and Thihathu—overthrew King Kyawswa of Pagan (r. 1289–97), who had become a Mongol vassal nine months earlier. [1] [2] The brothers placed a puppet king, and ruled from their base in Kyaukse. The Mongols invaded once again in 1300–01 but could not break through. They withdrew altogether from northern Burma in 1303. [3]

First Mongol invasion of Burma Historical conquest

The first Mongol invasions of Burma were a series of military conflicts between Kublai Khan's Yuan dynasty, division of the Mongol Empire, and the Pagan Empire that took place between 1277 and 1287. The invasions toppled the 250-year-old Pagan Empire, and the Mongol army seized Pagan territories in present-day Dehong, Yunnan and northern Burma to Tagaung. The invasions ushered in 250 years of political fragmentation in Burma and the rise of ethnic Tai-Shan states throughout mainland Southeast Asia.

Athinkhaya was a co-founder of Myinsaing Kingdom in present-day Central Burma (Myanmar). As a senior commander in the Royal Army of the Pagan Empire, he, along with his two younger brothers Yazathingyan and Thihathu, led Pagan's successful defense of central Burma against the Mongol invasions in 1287. Following the collapse of the Pagan Empire, the brothers became rivals of King Kyawswa of Pagan in central Burma, and overthrew him in December 1297, nine months after Kyawswa became a Mongol vassal. They successfully defended the second Mongol invasion (1300–01), and emerged the sole rulers of central Burma.

Yazathingyan was a co-founder of Myinsaing Kingdom in present-day Central Burma (Myanmar). As a senior commander in the Royal Army of the Pagan Empire, he, along with his two brothers Athinkhaya and Thihathu, led Pagan's successful defense of central Burma against the Mongol invasions in 1287. Following the collapse of the Pagan Empire, the brothers became rivals of King Kyawswa of Pagan in central Burma, and overthrew him in December 1297, nine months after Kyawswa became a Mongol vassal. They successfully defended the second Mongol invasion (1300–01), and emerged the sole rulers of central Burma.

The brothers went on to reassemble the core regions of the fallen empire. In the north, they regained up to Tagaung but no further. Various Shan states, nominal Mongol vassals, now dominated the entire northwestern-to-southeastern arc surrounding the Irrawaddy valley. In the south, the brothers established suzerainty down to Prome (Pyay), and Toungoo (Taungoo). [note 2] They did not try to regain Ramanya farther south, [note 3] or Arakan in the west.

Pyay City in Bago Region, Myanmar

Pyay is principal town of Pyay Township in the Bago Region in Myanmar. Pyay is located on the bank of Irrawaddy River, 260 km (160 mi) north-west of Yangon. It is an important trade center for the Ayeyarwady Delta, Central and Upper Myanmar and the Rakhine (Arakan) State. The British Irrawaddy Flotilla Company established the current town in the late 19th century on the Irrawaddy as a transshipment point for cargo between Upper and Lower Burma.

Taungoo City in Bago Region, Myanmar

Taungoo is a district-level city in the Bago Region of Myanmar, 220 km from Yangon, towards the north-eastern end of the division, with mountain ranges to the east and west. The main industry is in forestry products, with teak and other hardwoods extracted from the mountains. The city is known for its areca palms, to the extent that a Burmese proverb for unexpected good fortune is equated to a "betel lover winning a trip to Taungoo".

Hanthawaddy Kingdom Kingdom in present-day Burma

The Hanthawaddy Kingdom was the Mon kingdom that ruled lower Burma (Myanmar) from 1287 to 1539 and from 1550 to 1552. The Mon-speaking kingdom was founded as Ramaññadesa by King Wareru following the collapse of the Pagan Kingdom in 1287 as a nominal vassal state of the Sukhothai Kingdom and of the Mongol Yuan dynasty. The kingdom became formally independent of Sukhothai in 1330 but remained a loose federation of three major regional power centres: the Irrawaddy Delta, Bago, and Mottama. Its kings had little or no authority over the vassals. Mottama was in open rebellion from 1363 to 1388.

The regency of the triumvirate was short-lived. Thihathu, the youngest and most ambitious brother, was never satisfied with a mere regent status, and declared himself king in 1309. [4] The proclamation ended the charade of Saw Hnit's nominal status as king. [5] The old power structure at Pagan led by the dowager queen Pwa Saw was not happy but there was little she or Saw Hnit could do. It is not clear what the two elder brothers made of their brother's announcement. [note 4] At any rate, the elder brothers died in 1310 and 1312/13, [note 5] and Thihathu became the undisputed ruler.

Saw Hnit was a viceroy of Pagan (Bagan) from 1297 to 1325 under the suzerain of Myinsaing Kingdom in central Burma (Myanmar). He was a son of the Mongol vassal king Kyawswa, and a grandson of Narathihapate, the last sovereign king of Pagan dynasty. Saw Hnit succeeded as "king" after his father was forced to abdicate the throne by the three brothers of Myinsaing in December 1297.

Pwa Saw was a chief queen consort of King Narathihapate of the Pagan Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar). She is remembered as witty, wise, and beautiful, and as someone who exercised political influence for four decades during one of the most difficult periods in the country's history. Historians are divided as to whether the chronicle narratives contain more myth than fact.

Early Pinya

To commemorate his reign, Thihathu founded a new capital at Pinya, also in the Kyaukse valley but closer to the Irrawaddy. He decided to keep his capital in the premier granary instead of returning to Pagan (Bagan) because Pinya was closer to the Mu valley granary in the north. [6] On 7 February 1313, Thihathu, of non-royal birth, was crowned king as the rightful heir of the Pagan kings by Queen Pwa Saw herself. [7]

For the first time since the 1280s, the entire Irrawaddy valley between Prome in the south and Tagaung in the north was under a single ruler. However, Pinya's authority over the frontier regions such as Prome and Toungoo was nominal. The Myinsaing-Pinya rulers had inherited the longstanding problem that had existed since the late Pagan period: between one and two-thirds of Upper Burma's cultivated land had been donated to religion, and the crown had lost resources needed to retain the loyalty of courtiers and military servicemen. [8] Furthermore, "markedly drier weather during the late 13th and much of the 14th centuries" in Upper Burma forced large migrations from the established granaries (Kyaukse, Minbu, and Mu valley) [9] "to better watered districts farther south". [10]

To compound the problem, Pinya was hit with a dynastic feud from the start. So eager was Thihathu to be seen as a legitimate king of Pagan, he made his adopted stepson Uzana, biological son of King Kyawswa of Pagan and Queen Mi Saw U, his heir-apparent. He also appointed Kyawswa I, his biological son by Mi Saw U, governor of Pinle, the second most coveted position. [11] On the other hand, the king did not appoint Saw Yun, his eldest biological son by a commoner queen, Yadanabon, or Tarabya his stepson by Yadanabon, to any meaningful positions. He appointed Saw Yun governor of Sagaing in 1314 only after the eldest son's repeated protestations. [12] [13] Saw Yun remained deeply unhappy for he still did not command an army as did Uzana and Kyawswa. [12]

Sagaing secession

The simmering resentment led to Saw Yun's insurrection. The young prince upgraded Sagaing's timber walls to brick without his father's permission in 1315–16. [14] Thihathu seemed conflicted about punishing his teenage son. The king, who had never liked to share power — even with his own brothers — never sent a full force to reclaim Sagaing. He did order two small expeditions, the first led by Crown Prince Uzana and the second led by Prince Kyawswa. But by the end of 1316–17 dry season, both expeditions had failed to dislodge Saw Yun. [15]

Sagaing got a breather in 1317 when Toungoo and Taungdwin revolted. Thihathu bought peace with Taungdwin but Toungoo required an expedition. In the end, Pinya agreed to a deal that allowed the rebel leader Thawun Nge to remain in office in exchange for his nominal submission to Pinya. [16] [17] The deal with Toungoo proved to be the model for Sagaing as well. The king allowed Saw Yun to remain in office at Sagaing in exchange for his son's nominal submission. He was resigned to the fact that his kingdom would break apart once he died. [18]

Middle period

Pinya c. 1350 Burma c. 1350.png
Pinya c. 1350

Age of disunity

The kingdom formally split into two right after Thihathu's death in 1325. Saw Yun (r. 1315–27) now controlled the northern country to Tagaung while Uzana I (r. 1325–40) became king of the southern country to Prome and Toungoo. But the control of the southern kingdom was further split between Uzana and Kyawswa. The half-brothers continued to maintain their own military units throughout Central Burma. [19] Kyawswa openly conducted his own policy, for example ordering an attempt on Saw Yun's life. [20]

The rivalry greatly sapped Pinya's ability to control its own vassals or defend them. Pinya did nothing when Gov. Saw Hnit of Toungoo was assassinated in 1325; [21] Ramanya attacked Prome in 1330; [22] Arakan raided Thayet in 1333–34; [23] or Sagaing raided Mindon in 1339. [24] The rivalry came to a head in 1340. The brothers came close to war but Uzana ultimately backed down. [25] [26] He abdicated the throne to Gov. Sithu of Myinsaing, who was also Kyawswa's father-in-law. Sithu the regent never wielded any power; chronicles do not mention him at all. Though Sithu made an alliance with King Kyaswa of Sagaing (r. 1339–49), Kyawswa never seemed concerned about his father-in-law. According to a contemporary inscription, he had already declared himself king at least since 1342, [note 6] and became the undisputed ruler in 1344. [27]

Brief return to normalcy

Kyawswa I depicted as the Nga-zi Shin Nat Ngazishin Nat.jpg
Kyawswa I depicted as the Nga-zi Shin Nat

Kyawswa I (r. 1344–50) brought a brief period of unity, at least in the core region. He successfully reunified Pinya's military corps in Central Burma, and formed elite cavalry and shielded infantry units. [28] However, Pinya's hold on more remote places, Toungoo in particular, remained weak. Two Toungoo governors were assassinated in the first three years of his reign. Kyawswa had to be satisfied with the nominal submission by the usurpers. [29] Similarly, his attempt to check the power of the Buddhist clergy was not successful, not least because the court did not fully cooperate. [30] On balance, Kyawswa I brought a much needed period of stability to the country. But he suddenly died in 1350. [27] He is said to have become a nat (spirit) with the name Nga-zi Shin Nat. [31]


Rapprochement with Sagaing

Pinya struggled to remain relevant after Kyawswa I's death. King Kyawswa II (r. 1350–59) never had much control over the vassals. As a result, he like his father before him tried to regain resources in the core region from the clergy. (His 1359 decree to check on tax-free glebe lands was the earliest extant land survey (sittan) in Myanmar. [27] )

One notable change was his Sagaing policy. He agreed to a truce with the northern rival in 1351. Prior to the truce, the relations between them had been worsening with Sagaing having accepted high-level Pinya defections in 1349–51. [note 7] A key driver for the truce may have been the emergence of the Shan state of Maw (Mong Mao), which had fought a successful war against its Mongol overlords (1342–48). [32] After Maw reached a deal with the Mongols in 1355, [32] they turned their attention to their south, launching their first raid into Sagaing territory in 1356. Recognizing the eventual threat to his own realm farther south, Kyawswa II in 1357/58 agreed to an alliance with Sagaing. [33]

Maw raids and Toungoo secession

However, the Pinya king could not fulfill his commitment. His vassals by and large ignored his decree to provide conscripts. Gov. Theingaba of Toungoo outright revolted during the Maw Shan raid of 1358–59, and raided up to Yamethin, 200 km north of Toungoo. [34] Kyawswa II had no response as the Maw forces broke through the Sagaing lines and breached Pinya territory in early 1359. The king died during the raid which ransacked much of his country. [27]

Pinya was now on its last legs. Most of its vassals were practically independent. King Narathu (r. 1359–64) reversed his brother's policy, and broke the alliance with Sagaing. [35] It won no reprieve: Maw forces raided deep into Pinya territory in 1362–63. [27] In desperation, Narathu sought an alliance with the Maw ruler Tho Kho Bwa (r. 1340–71). In 1363, the two rulers agreed to a joint attack on Sagaing, with Pinya as the junior partner. [35] In 1364, they laid siege to the city of Sagaing, with Pinya responsible for a naval blockade. The Maw forces sacked Sagaing in April 1364. But the Maw ruler was unhappy with Pinya's porous blockade, and ordered his forces to attack Pinya across the river. The Maw forces sacked the city in May. The raiders brought the loot and Narathu back to their country. [36]


The latest Maw invasion left Upper Burma in tatters. Narathu's eldest brother, Uzana II (r. 1364) succeeded the Pinya throne. [37] At Sagaing, a young prince named Thado Minbya (r. 1364–67), a great grandson of Thihathu, seized the throne. Unlike Uzana II, Thado Minbya proved an able and ambitious ruler. He quickly consolidated his hold on the Sagaing vassals, and looked to reunify all of Upper Burma. He took Pinya in September 1364. [38] Over the next six months, he feverishly built a new citadel at a more strategic location at the confluence of the Irrawaddy and the Myitnge in order to defend against the Maw raids. On 26 February 1365, the king proclaimed the foundation of the city of Ava (Inwa), as the capital of the successor state of Pinya and Sagaing kingdoms. [39]


Pinya kings continued to employ Pagan's administrative model of solar polities [6] in which the high king ruled the core while semi-independent tributaries, autonomous viceroys, and governors actually controlled day-to-day administration and manpower. [40] [41]

Administrative regions

Old Pinya site today Pinya, Mandalay Region.JPG
Old Pinya site today

The court, Hluttaw , was the center of administration, representing at once executive, legislative and judiciary branches of the government. [42] The court administered the kingdom at three general levels: taing (တိုင်း, province), myo (မြို့, town), and ywa (ရွာ, village). [43] Unlike the Pagan government, the Pinya court's reach was limited mainly to the Kyaukse region and its vicinity. The majority of the vassal states reported in the chronicles lay within a 250 km radius from Pinya. Indeed, during the rivalry between Uzana I and Kyawswa I, Pinya did not even control all of the core region. [19] Judging by where Uzana I's battalions were stationed, Pinya's effective power extended no more than 150 km from Pinya. [note 8]

The following table is a list of key vassal states mentioned in the chronicles. Other vassal states listed in the chronicles were Pindale, Pyinsi, Yindaw, Hlaingdet, Kyaukpadaung, Pahtanago, Mindon, Taingda, Mindat, Kanyin, Myaung, Myede, Salin, Paunglaung, Legaing, Salay, Kugan Gyi, Kugan Nge, Ywatha, Talok, Ten tracts of Bangyi, Yaw, Htilin, Laungshay, and Tharrawaddy. [44] [45]

Pagan (Bagan)Core Saw Hnit (1299–1325)Nominal king (1299–1309)
Uzana II of Pagan (1325–68)Viceroy
Myinsaing Core Sithu (1310–44)
Shwe Nan Shin (c. 1344–90?)
Mekkhaya CoreNo rulers reported after Yazathingyan
Pinle Core Kyawswa I (1313–44)
Nawrahta (1344–49)
Min Letwe (1349–60s?)
Thihathu proclaimed himself king on 20 October 1309. Nawrahta defected to Sagaing in 1349.
Sagaing Core Saw Yun (1314–25)In revolt (1315–17); Independent 1325 onwards
Paukmyaing Core Min Pale (1347–60s)
Lanbu CoreYandathu (1340s) [46]
Wadi CoreThinkhaya (c. 1344–?) [46]
Yamethin Mid Thihapate (1330s–51)
Swa Saw Ke (1351)
Thilawa (1351–95/96)
Shisha Mid Nawrahta (1313–44)
Taungdwin MidThihapate I (1310s–50s) [47]
Thihapate II (c. 1350s–67)
Nyaungyan MidSaw Mon Nit (c. 1344–?) [46]
Gonandarit (1350s?) [48]
Baya Kyawthu (1360s) [49]
Sagu Mid Theinkhathu Saw Hnaung (c. 1360s–90s)
Thayet South Min Shin Saw (1300–34; 1344–50s?)
Prome (Pyay)South Kyaswa (c. 1305–44)
Saw Yan Naung (1344–1377/78)
Toungoo (Taungoo)South Thawun Gyi (1279–1317)
Thawun Nge (1317–24)
Saw Hnit (1324–25)
Kayin Ba (1325–42)
Letya Sekkya (1342–44)
Htauk Hlayga (1344–47)
Theingaba (1347–67) (in revolt (1358–67))
Rulers assassinated (1317, 1325, 1344, 1347); In revolt 1358–67


At its founding, Pinya under Thihathu controlled much of Upper Burma from Tagaung to Tharrawaddy. The approximate area would be at least 140,000 km². [note 9] The kingdom's nominal claim became about 100,000 km² after the Sagaing secession in 1325, and about 80,000 km² after the Toungoo secession in 1358.


Pinya was a military weakling. Thihathu claimed to have controlled at least 20,000 troops. [50] But after Thihathu, the Pinya military was divided between Uzana I and Kyawswa I, who maintained their own militias. Uzana I's special military units totaled just 640 shielded knights, 1040 cavalry, and 300 archers. [19] Kyawswa I reunified the army but later Pinya kings never controlled a large enough force to make a difference. Local militias thrived especially after the collapse of Pinya such as in Sagu, Taungdwin and Toungoo. [note 10]


Most royal chronicles treat Myinsaing-Pinya as a single period, and Sagaing as a junior branch of the Myinsaing dynasty.

Item Zatadawbon Yazawin Maha Yazawin Yazawin Thit Hmannan Yazawin Inscriptions
Name of dynastyPinya dynasty [51] no specific namePinya dynasty [52] Myinsaing−Pinya dynasty [7]
Start of dynasty1300/01 [51] 1300/01 [53] 1312/13 [54] 1298/99 [55] 17 December 1297 (of Myinsaing) [56]
Thihathu's proclamation as king1309/10 [57] 1309/10 [53] 1309/10 [58] 1309/10 [59] 20 October 1309 [4]
Foundation of Pinya7 February 1313 [57] 1312/13 [53] 1312/13 [54] 7 February 1313 [7]
Sagaing secession
(de facto)
1322/23 [51] 1322/23 [60] 15 May 1315 [61] 15 May 1315 [62] 26 March 1316 [14]
Sagaing secession
(de jure)
1323/24 [60] before 30 April 1322 [63] before 30 April 1322 [64] before 29 March 1325 [note 11]
Fall of Pinya to Maw Shans1364 [65] May 1364 [66] 1364 [67] May 1364 [37]
Fall of Pinya to Sagaingnot mentionedSeptember 1364 [66] 1364 [68] September 1364 [69]
End of dynasty26 February 1365 [70] 26 February 1365 [66] 26 February 1365 [71] 26 February 1365 [72] before 8 July 1365 [note 12]

See also


  1. Most main royal chronicles treat Myinsaing and Pinya periods as the single dynasty that followed Pagan in Upper Burma. See (Zata 1960: 43), (Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 2006: 259), and (Hmannan 2003: 363). Only one main chronicle (Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 158–159) treats Pinya as a separate period.
  2. Chronicles (Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 2006: 263; Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 376) claim as far south as Tharawaddy.
  3. Pagan did try to retake Lower Burma in 1296. According to the Yazawin Thit chronicle (Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 150) and a contemporary inscription dated 14th waxing of Thantu (Thadingyut) 658 ME (12 September 1296) state a campaign in Dala (modern Yangon). (Harvey 1925: 111): The campaign led by the brothers failed.
  4. After all, Thihathu had given himself royal titles in 1295, 1296, and 1306 per (Than Tun 1959: 122).
  5. (Than Tun 1959: 123): Athinkhaya died on 13 April 1310. The main chronicles before Hmannan all say Yazathingyan died in 674 ME (1312/13): see (Zata 1960: 43), (Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 2006: 259) and (Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 156–157). Hmannan (Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 369) in contradiction to the prior chronicles says Yazathingyan died in 665 ME (1303/04) but inscriptional evidence (Than Tun 1959: 123) shows Hmannan is incorrect.
  6. (Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 166): According to an inscription donated on 17 June 1342 by Kyawswa's chief queen consort Atula Sanda Dewi, Kyawswa had already declared himself king.
  7. Prince Nawrahta in 1349 per (Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 380) and Gov. Swa Saw Ke in 1351 per (Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 403).
  8. (Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 378): Uzana I's troops were stationed at Pinya, Thingyi, Nyaungyan, Kyauksauk, Lanbu, Thindaung and Yet-Khant Kan-Zaunt.
  9. Pinya's claims were similar to Ava's although Ava at its peak was larger. See (Lieberman 2003: 26) and (Aung-Thwin and Aung-Thwin 2012) for Ava's territory at its peak. Pinya's claims covered present-day Mandalay Region (37,945.6 km²), Magway Region (44,820.6 km²), about half of Bago Region (39,402.3/2 = 19701 km²) and about Sagaing Region (93,704/2 = 46,852 km²), or a total area about 150,000 km².
  10. See Thado Minbya's campaigns against Sagu, Taungdwin and Toungoo in (Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 398–400)
  11. Derived from Uzana I's succession. Per (Than Tun 1959: 123, 127), Uzana I came to power in late 686 ME. 687 ME began on 29 March 1325.
  12. (Taw, Forchhammer 1899: 8; Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 182, footnote 2): Per the inscription dedicated at the Shwezigon Pagoda by King Thado Minbya himself on 8 July 1365 (Tuesday, 5th waxing of Waso 727 ME), he was already of king of Ava.

Related Research Articles

Thihathu was a co-founder of the Myinsaing Kingdom, and the founder of the Pinya Kingdom in today's central Burma (Myanmar). Thihathu was the youngest and most ambitious of the three brothers that successfully defended central Burma from Mongol invasions in 1287 and in 1300–01. He and his brothers toppled the regime at Pagan in 1297, and co-ruled central Burma. After his eldest brother Athinkhaya's death in 1310, Thihathu pushed aside the middle brother Yazathingyan, and took over as the sole ruler of central Burma. His decision to designate his adopted son Uzana I heir-apparent caused his eldest biological son, Saw Yun to set up a rival power center in Sagaing in 1315. Although Saw Yun nominally remained loyal to his father, after Thihathu's death in 1325, the two houses of Myinsaing officially became rival kingdoms in central Burma.

Athinhkaya Saw Yun was the founder of the Sagaing Kingdom of Myanmar (Burma). The eldest son of King Thihathu set up a rival kingdom in 1315 after Thihathu appointed Uzana I as heir-apparent. Saw Yun successfully resisted two small expeditions by Pinya by 1317. While Saw Yun nominally remained loyal to his father, he was the de facto king of the area roughly corresponding to present-day Sagaing Region and northern Mandalay Region.

Kyawswa II of Pinya was king of Pinya from 1350 to 1359. He had little effective control over his southern vassals but agreed to an alliance with Pinya's longtime rival Sagaing to face off the northern Shan state of Mong Mao. In 1358–59, while he tried to help Sagaing in the north, his home region of Kyaukse came under attack first by his erstwhile vassal Toungoo, and later by Mong Mao Shans. He died during the Shan raids.

Narathu of Pinya was king of Pinya from 1359 to 1364. He controlled only around the capital region, and unsuccessfully tried to stop the Mong Mao (Maw) Shan raids of Central Myanmar (Burma) that began in 1359. He reversed his predecessor Kyawswa II's policy of alliance with Sagaing, and later entered into an alliance with Mong Mao as a junior partner to dismember Sagaing. But the policy backfired when Mong Mao forces proceeded to sack Pinya in May 1364. He was brought back to the Shan country, and is remembered as Maw-Pa Min.

Uzana II of Pinya was king of Pinya for three months in 1364. He was merely a nominal king, and could not consolidate his power in the wake of the devastating raid by the northern Shan state of Mong Mao. He was overthrown in September 1364 by Thado Minbya of Sagaing.

Thihapate of Sagaing king of Sagaing from 1352 to 1364. He came to power by being married to the powerful Princess Soe Min Kodawgyi. He led Sagaing during the most tumultuous period of the kingdom (1356−64). Despite a brief period of alliance with Pinya (1357−59), Sagaing had to face near-annual raids by the northern Shan state of Mong Mao (Maw) on its own. He lost power in April 1364 when Maw Shan forces sacked Sagaing. He escaped capture but was soon put to death by his stepson Thado Minbya at Kya-Khat-Wa-Ya, south of Sagaing.

Sagaing Kingdom

The Sagaing Kingdom was a small kingdom ruled by a junior branch of the Myinsaing dynasty from 1315 to 1365. Originally the northern province of Sagaing of the Pinya Kingdom, it became de facto independent after Prince Saw Yun successfully fought for autonomy from his father King Thihathu in 1315–17. Sagaing formally seceded from Pinya in 1325 after Thihathu's death.

Thado Minbya was the founder of the Kingdom of Ava. In his three plus years of reign (1364–67), the king laid the foundation for the reunification of Central Burma, which had been split into Pinya and Sagaing kingdoms since 1315. He also founded the capital city of Ava (Inwa) in 1365, which would remain the country's capital for most of the following five centuries. The young king restored order in central Burma, and tried to stamp out corrupt Buddhist clergy. He died of smallpox while on a southern military expedition in September 1367.

Mingyi Swa Saw Ke was king of Ava from 1367 to 1400. He reestablished central authority in Upper Myanmar (Burma) for the first time since the fall of the Pagan Empire in the 1280s. He essentially founded the Ava Kingdom that would dominate Upper Burma for the next two centuries.

Nawrahta of Kanni was a senior Myinsaing prince, who held important governorship positions in the rival Burmese-speaking kingdoms of Pinya and Sagaing. He was the youngest child of King Thihathu and his chief queen Mi Saw U, and the youngest brother of kings Uzana I and Kyawswa I of Pinya.

Saw Omma was the chief queen consort of four consecutive kings of Pinya and Ava Kingdoms from 1350 to 1367. Descended from Pagan and Myinsaing–Pinya royal lines, the queen was well known for her beauty, and was selected as the chief queen of the last three kings of Pinya: Kyawswa II, Narathu and Uzana II. After the death of her fourth husband King Thado Minbya of Ava in 1367, she and her fifth husband Nga Nu unsuccessfully tried to seize the Ava throne. Her brother King Swa Saw Ke, who succeeded Thado Minbya, pardoned her but also married her off to the commander who captured her.

Min Shin Saw was an early 14th-century governor of Thayet in the Pinya Kingdom. He was a son of King Kyawswa of Pagan and the father of King Swa Saw Ke of Ava, Queen Saw Omma of Pinya.

Thawun Nge was governor of Toungoo (Taungoo) from 1317 to 1324. He came to office by assassinating his elder brother Thawun Gyi while Toungoo's overlord Pinya was facing a serious rebellion at Sagaing. His own rebellion was brief as he struck a deal with Pinya to keep the office in exchange for his submission. He died in 1324, and was succeeded by his son Saw Hnit.

Nga Khin Nyo was a Royal Pinya Army commander. He is known in Burmese history for his refusal to assassinate King Saw Yun of Sagaing after having eaten a bowl of rice that belonged to Saw Yun. His lord Prince Kyawswa, who had ordered the assassination, accepted the commander's rationale, and awarded lavish gifts to Khin Nyo for his conscience and loyalty.

Saw Yan Naung was governor of Prome (Pyay) from c. 1344 to 1375 and viceroy of Prome from 1375 to 1377/78. Descended from Pagan and Pinya royalty, Saw Yan Naung was first appointed to the governorship by King Kyawswa I of Pinya. From 1367 onwards, the governor helped his brother King Swa Saw Ke of Ava consolidate the former southern vassals states of Pinya into Ava's fold.


  1. Than Tun 1959: 119−120
  2. Htin Aung 1967: 74
  3. Than Tun 1959: 121−122
  4. 1 2 Than Tun 1959: 122
  5. Htin Aung 1967: 75
  6. 1 2 Aung-Thwin and Aung-Thwin 2012: 109
  7. 1 2 3 Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 370
  8. Lieberman 2003: 120
  9. Aung-Thwin and Aung-Thwin 2012: 94
  10. Lieberman 2003: 121
  11. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 370–371
  12. 1 2 Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 374
  13. Harvey 1925: 79
  14. 1 2 Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 161, fn-3
  15. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 373–376
  16. Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 160, fn#1
  17. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 372
  18. Htin Aung 1967: 76−77
  19. 1 2 3 Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 378
  20. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 383
  21. Sein Lwin Lay 2006: 21
  22. Phayre 1967: 66
  23. Sandamala Linkara Vol. 1 1997: 180
  24. Than Tun 1959: 127
  25. Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 2006: 265
  26. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 379
  27. 1 2 3 4 5 Than Tun 1959: 124
  28. MSK Vol. 2 1955: 22
  29. Sein Lwin Lay 2006: 22
  30. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 381
  31. MSK Vol. 13 1973: 412
  32. 1 2 Than Tun 1964: 278
  33. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 384–385
  34. Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 334, footnote 3
  35. 1 2 Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 392
  36. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 385
  37. 1 2 Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 393
  38. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 393–394
  39. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 396, 398
  40. Lieberman 2003: 35
  41. Aung-Thwin 1985: 99–101
  42. Aung-Thwin 1985: 130–131
  43. Aung-Thwin 1985: 104–105
  44. Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 2006: 263
  45. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 376
  46. 1 2 3 Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 382
  47. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 400
  48. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 380
  49. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 405
  50. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 373
  51. 1 2 3 Zata 1960: 43
  52. Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 158
  53. 1 2 3 Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 2006: 259
  54. 1 2 Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 159
  55. Hmannan 2003: 363
  56. Than Tun 1959: 119
  57. 1 2 Zata 1960: 42
  58. Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 162
  59. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 369
  60. 1 2 Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 2006: 262
  61. Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 161
  62. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 375
  63. Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 173
  64. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 389
  65. Zata 1960: 42−43
  66. 1 2 3 Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 2006: 275
  67. Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 170
  68. Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 177
  69. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 394
  70. Zata 1960: 44
  71. Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 181
  72. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 396