Arakan

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Arakan:

see RakhineRakhine State
, formerly Arakan
, state (1983 pop. 2,045,891), 14,194 sq mi (36,762 sq km), W Myanmar, extending along the Bay of Bengal. It lies at the foot of the Arakan Mts., which rises to 10,016 ft (3,053 m) at Mt. Victoria. The capital is Sittwe.
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, Myanmar.

Arakan

 

a state which existed until 1785 in southwestern Burma on the territory of the contemporary province of Yakhaing (Arakan). The establishment in Arakan in the first centuries A.D. of the early state headed by the Candra dynasty (with Vaisali as its capital) is attributable to an Indian influence. The basic religions were Hinduism (up to the tenth century), Buddhism (which, according to tradition, made inroads in the second century A.D.), and Islam (since the tenth-12th centuries). During the 11th—13th centuries, the northern regions of Arakan were vassals of the Pagan Empire. From 1374 the Ava and Pegu alternated in placing their protégés on the Arakan throne.

Arakan achieved independence in the first third of the 15th century, and Myohaung became its capital in 1433. A period of development and territorial expansion followed under the rule of Minbin (1531–53). Important roles in the country’s economy were played by sea trade and piracy, which were for the most part in the hands of Portuguese adventurers. After its defeat in a war with the Mogul Empire (1666), Arakan weakened. Feudal wars and struggles for the throne, beginning in 1731, facilitated the conquest of Arakan by the Burmese ruler Bodawpaia and its annexation by Burma in 1785.

M. G. KOZLOVA

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