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  • Writer's pictureBarrett B.

The Lost City of Mrauk U in Myanmar

Indiana Jones would have loved to explore this ancient region and acropolis lost in the mist. With the country entering into a more complicated armed conflict within, this city might just vanish completely into the history books (Explore with me @ travelingonthego)



BRIEF HISTORY OF AN ANCIENT CITY:


Mrauk U was once the capital of the Arakan Kingdom, which flourished from the 15th to the 18th century. The city was a prosperous trading hub that attracted merchants from all over Asia. However, the kingdom began to decline in the 17th century due to internal conflicts and external pressures from neighboring kingdoms. The city was eventually conquered by the Burmese in 1784, and the Arakanese people were forced to flee to neighboring countries. The city was largely abandoned and forgotten until the 20th century when archaeologists began to rediscover its ancient ruins.


Today, the city is an important cultural and historical site for the Rakhine people, who claim ties to the ancient capital. However, the region around Mrauk U has been roiled by sectarian violence in recent years



Mrauk U, also known as the lost city of Myanmar, is a unique and special destination that is worth exploring for the following reasons:

  1. Ancient Kingdom: Mrauk U was once the capital of the Arakan Kingdom, which flourished from the 15th to the 18th century. The city is home to hundreds of forgotten temples and ancient ruins that tell the story of this once-great kingdom.

  2. Impressive Ruins: The ruins of Mrauk U are impressive and well-preserved, with many temples and pagodas that are still standing today. Some experts believe that Mrauk U is as emblematic of artistic and architectural achievement as Bagan, the ancient Burmese capital.

  3. Unique Heritage: Mrauk U is the center of the unique heritage of the Rakhine people, who were violently extinguished by the Burmese conquerors. The city is an important cultural and historical site for the Rakhine people, who claim ties to the ancient capital.

  4. Authentic Rakhine Cuisine: Mrauk U is a great place to try authentic Rakhine cuisine, which is known for its spicy and flavorful dishes. The city is home to many local restaurants and street food vendors that offer a taste of this unique cuisine.

  5. Off-the-Beaten-Path: Mrauk U is a remote and off-the-beaten-path destination that sees far fewer tourists than other popular destinations in Myanmar. This makes it a great place to escape the crowds and experience a more authentic side of Myanmar.


WHY DOESN'T ANYONE KNOW ABOUT THIS CITY?


The lack of awareness about the lost city of Mrauk U can be attributed to several factors:


1. Remote Location: Mrauk U is located in the Rakhine State of Myanmar, which is relatively remote and less accessible compared to other popular tourist destinations in the country. Its distance from major cities and transportation infrastructure makes it less known to travelers.


2. Limited Tourism Infrastructure: Mrauk U has limited tourism infrastructure, including accommodations and transportation options. This lack of development may deter some travelers from visiting the area.


3. Lack of Promotion: The lost city of Mrauk U has not been extensively promoted as a tourist destination compared to other well-known sites in Myanmar. This lack of promotion has contributed to its relative obscurity.

4. Ethnic Tensions: The region around Mrauk U has experienced ethnic tensions and conflicts in recent years, which have affected tourism in the area. These conflicts may have discouraged tourists from visiting the region.


5. Lack of Awareness: The general lack of awareness about Mrauk U among travelers and the travel industry itself has contributed to its lesser-known status. Many people simply have not heard of Mrauk U or its historical significance.


UNIQUE ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN OF THIS ASIAN ACROPOLIS


The architecture of Mrauk U is a unique blend of Burmese, Indian, and Southeast Asian styles that reflect the city's cosmopolitan past. Here are some interesting facts about the architecture of Mrauk U:

  • The city was fortified by a 30-kilometer long fortification and an intricate net of moats and canals1. The Royal Palace, located at the center of the city, was a towering structure that loomed high over the surrounding area like an Asian Acropolis.

  • The waterways formed by canals and creeks in Mrauk U earned the fame of distinct resemblance to Venice. The city's waterways were used for transportation and irrigation, and they played an important role in the city's economy and daily life.

  • The temples and pagodas of Mrauk U were mostly built in the 15th and 16th centuries AD. They are exceptional examples of the architectural and artistic achievements of the Arakanese people.

  • The temples and pagodas of Mrauk U are characterized by their intricate carvings, ornate decorations, and unique architectural features. Some of the most notable temples include the Koe Thaung Temple, Shai-thaung Temple, and Htukkanthein Temple.

  • The architecture of Mrauk U reflects the city's rich cultural heritage and its history as a center of trade and commerce. The city's unique blend of architectural styles is a testament to its cosmopolitan past and its role as a melting pot of cultures.


According to the search results, the population of Mrauk U has varied throughout its history. Here are some facts about the population of Mrauk U:

  • The Kingdom of Mrauk U was home to a multiethnic population that included Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists.

  • From the 15th to the 18th centuries, Mrauk U was the capital of the Arakan kingdom and was frequently visited by foreign traders, including Portuguese and Dutch.

  • The city eventually reached a size of 160,000 in the early seventeenth century.

  • According to the latest census in 2014, the population of Mrauk U Township was 189,6302.

  • The population density of Mrauk U Township is 153.5 people per square kilometer

 

OTHER HIGHLY RECOMMENDED HISTORICAL DESTINATIONS THAT YOUR "INNER EXPLORER VOICES" NEED TO VISIT:


Here are 5 amazing lost cities around the world:


  1. Tikal, Guatemala: The temples of Tikal were once the center of the Mayan civilization and are now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city was abandoned in the 10th century and rediscovered in the 19th century.

  2. Pompeii, Italy: Pompeii was a thriving Roman city until it was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The city was buried under ash and pumice for centuries and was rediscovered in the 18th century.

  3. Mohenjo-daro, Pakistan: Mohenjo-daro was one of the largest cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization and was abandoned around 1900 BC

  4. Ciudad Perdida, Colombia: Ciudad Perdida, or the Lost City, is an ancient city in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains of Colombia2. The city was founded in 800 CE and was rediscovered in 1972 by a group of local treasure looters.

  5. Ani, Turkey: Ani was once a medieval Armenian city of 200,000 people that was sacked and abandoned 500 years ago. The city is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and is home to many beautiful skeletal remains, including churches

Other amazing lost cities around the world include Petra, Jordan; Machu Picchu, Peru; and Caral, Peru


Follow my travels over at my youtube channel - traveling on the go.

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