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Bago

Bago is one of the richest archaeological sites in Myanmar. Apparently Mons were the first to settle at this site. Two Mon brothers Thamala and Wimala from Thaton, first founded the city about 825 A.D. In 13th century A.D. The site, which was then on the Gulf of Martaban, had already been earmarked as the location of a great city by Gautama, the historic Buddha. Bago was made the capital of the Mon Kingdom and it came to be known as Hansavati (Hanthawaddy). It was also the seaport of ancient Mon kings. Then it became the Second Myanmar Empire founded by King Bayinnaung.
 

Shwethalyaung Pagoda

Built by the Mon in 994 this big Buddha was restored several times but was overgrown by the jungle after the total destruction of Bago by the Burmans in 1757. The 55 meter long and 16 meter high reclining Buddha is well known in Bago. It was rediscovered in 1880 and restored again several times to bring it to this condition. This huge reclining Buddha with a sign on the platform in front of the image giving the measurements of each body part. It is reputed to be one of the most lifelike of all reclining Buddhas. The Myanmar people say that the image represents Buddha in a 'relaxing' mode.