Statue of Bayinnaung in front of the National Museum of Myanmar
Reign30 April 1550 – 10 October 1581
Coronation11 January 1551 at Toungoo
12 January 1554 at Pegu
Chief MinisterBinnya Dala (1559–1573)
Emperor of Lan Na
Reign2 April 1558 – 10 October 1581
PredecessorNew office
KingMekuti (1558–1563)
Visuddhadevi (1565–1579)
Nawrahta Minsaw (1579–1581)
Emperor of Siam
Reign18 February 1564 – 10 October 1581
PredecessorNew office
KingMahinthrathirat (1564–1568)
Maha Thammarachathirat (1569–1581)
Emperor of Lan Xang
Reign2 January 1565 – c. January 1568
February 1570 – early 1572
6 December 1574 – 10 October 1581
PredecessorNew office
KingMaing Pat Sawbwa (1565–1568, 1570–1572)
Maha Ouparat (1574–1581)
Born16 January 1516
Wednesday, 12th waxing of Tabodwe 877 ME
Toungoo (Taungoo)
Died10 October 1581(1581-10-10) (aged 65)
Tuesday, Full moon of Tazaungmon 943 ME
Pegu (Bago)
Burial15 October 1581
ConsortAtula Thiri
Sanda Dewi
Yaza Dewi
among others...
Inwa Mibaya
Nawrahta Minsaw
Min Khin Saw
Yaza Datu Kalaya
Thiri Thudhamma Yaza
Full name
Thiri Tri Bawa Naditra Pawara Pandita Thudhamma Yaza Maha Dipadi
FatherMingyi Swe
MotherShin Myo Myat
ReligionTheravada Buddhism

Bayinnaung Kyawhtin Nawrahta (Burmese: ဘုရင့်နောင် ကျော်ထင်နော်ရထာ [bəjɪ̰ɴ nàʊɴ tɕɔ̀ tʰɪ̀ɴ nɔ̀jətʰà]; Thai: บุเรงนองกะยอดินนรธา, RTGSBurengnong Kayodin Noratha; 16 January 1516 – 10 October 1581) was king of the Toungoo Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) from 1550 to 1581. During his 31-year reign, which has been called the "greatest explosion of human energy ever seen in Burma", Bayinnaung assembled what was probably the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia,[1] which included much of modern-day Burma, the Chinese Shan states, Lan Na, Lan Xang, Manipur and Siam.[2]

Although he is best remembered for his empire building, Bayinnaung's greatest legacy was his integration of the Shan states into the Irrawaddy-valley-based kingdoms. After the conquest of the Shan states in 1557–1563, the king put in an administrative system that reduced the power of hereditary Shan saophas, and brought Shan customs in line with low-land norms. It eliminated the threat of Shan raids into Upper Burma, an overhanging concern to Upper Burma since the late 13th century. His Shan policy was followed by Burmese kings right up to the final fall of the kingdom to the British in 1885.[3]

Bayinnaung could not replicate this administrative policy everywhere in his far flung empire, however. His empire was a loose collection of former sovereign kingdoms, whose kings were loyal to him as the Cakkavatti (Universal Ruler), not the Kingdom of Toungoo. Indeed, Ava and Siam revolted just over two years after his death. By 1599, all the vassal states had revolted, and the Toungoo Empire completely collapsed.

Bayinnaung is considered one of the three greatest kings of Burma, along with Anawrahta and Alaungpaya. Some of the most prominent places in modern Myanmar are named after him. He is also well known in Thailand as Phra Chao Chana Sip Thit (พระเจ้าชนะสิบทิศ, "Victor of the Ten Directions").

Early life


The future king was born Ye Htut (ရဲထွတ်, IPA: [jɛ́ tʰʊʔ]) on 16 January 1516 to Mingyi Swe and Shin Myo Myat. His exact ancestry is unclear. No extant contemporary records, including Hanthawaddy Hsinbyushin Ayedawbon, the extensive chronicle of the king's reign written two years before his death, mention his ancestry.[4] It was only in 1724, some 143 years after the king's death that Maha Yazawin, the official chronicle of the Toungoo Dynasty, first proclaimed his genealogy. According to Maha Yazawin, he was born to a gentry family in Toungoo (Taungoo), then a former vassal state of the Ava Kingdom. He was descended from viceroys of Toungoo Tarabya (r. 1440–1446) and Minkhaung I (r. 1446–1451) on his father's side; and from King Thihathu of Pinya (r. 1310–1325) and his chief queen Mi Saw U of the Pagan Dynasty on his mother's side.[5] Furthermore, Ye Htut was distantly related to then presiding ruler of Toungoo Mingyi Nyo and his son Tabinshwehti through their common ancestor, Tarabya of Pakhan.[note 1] Later chronicles simply repeat Maha Yazawin's account.[4] In all, the chronicles (perhaps too) neatly tie his ancestry to all the previous main dynasties that existed in Upper Burma: the Ava, Sagaing, MyinsaingPinya and Pagan dynasties.

Despite the official version of royal descent, oral traditions speak of a decidedly less grandiose genealogy: That his parents were commoners from Ngathayauk in Pagan district or Htihlaing village in Toungoo district, and that his father was a toddy palm tree climber, then one of the lowest professions in Burmese society.[4] The commoner origin narrative first gained prominence in the early 20th century during the British colonial period as nationalist writers like Po Kya promoted it as proof that even a son of a toddy tree climber could rise to become the great emperor in Burmese society.[6] To be sure, the chronicle and oral traditions need not be mutually exclusive since being a toddy tree climber does not preclude his having royal ancestors.[note 2]

Childhood and education

Whatever their origin and station in life may have been, both of his parents were chosen to be part of the seven-person staff to take care of the royal baby Tabinshwehti in April 1516. Ye Htut's mother was chosen to be the wet nurse of the prince and heir apparent. The family moved into the Toungoo Palace precincts where the couple had three more sons, the last of whom died young. Ye Htut had an elder sister Khin Hpone Soe, and three younger brothers: Minye Sithu, Thado Dhamma Yaza II, and the youngest who died young. He also had two half-brothers, Minkhaung II and Thado Minsaw who were born to his aunt (his mother's younger sister) and his father.[7]

Ye Htut grew up playing with the prince and the king's other children, including Princess Thakin Gyi, who would later become his chief queen. He was educated in the palace along with the prince and the other children. King Mingyi Nyo required his son to receive an education in military arts. Tabinshwehti along with Ye Htut and other young men at the palace received training in martial arts, horseback riding, elephant riding, and military strategy.[8] Ye Htut became the prince's right-hand man.[9]

Other Languages
Bân-lâm-gú: Bayinnaung
Bikol Central: Bayinnaung
Deutsch: Bayinnaung
español: Bayinnaung
français: Bayinnaung
한국어: 바인나웅
Bahasa Indonesia: Bayinnaung
italiano: Bayinnaung
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဘုရင့်နောင်
Nederlands: Bayinnaung
ភាសាខ្មែរ: បឹយីនណោន
polski: Bayinnaung
português: Braginoco
русский: Байиннаун
Simple English: King Bayinnong
Tiếng Việt: Bayinnaung
吴语: 勃印曩
中文: 勃印曩