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Bayinnaung Kyawhtin Nawrahta (Burmese: ဘုရင့်နောင် ကျော်ထင်နော်ရထာ, Thai: พระเจ้าบุเรงนอง; 16 January 1516 – 9 November 1581) was the third king of the Toungoo dynasty of Burma (Myanmar). He was king for 30 years. This time has been called the "greatest explosion of human energy ever seen in Burma". As king, Bayinnaung created the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia. This empire included much of Burma, Manipur, Chinese Shan States (southern Yunnan), Lan Na (northern Thailand), Siam (central and southern Thailand) and Lan Xang (Laos and northeastern Thailand).[1]

Bayinnaung's made the Shan States part of the Burmese kingdoms. This removed the threat of Shan raids into Upper Burma. This had been a concern to Upper Burma since the late 13th century. The kink took control of the Shan States in 1557. He put in an administrative system that took away much of the power of the Shan saophas (chiefs). The also made changes to some of their customs to make them similar to other customs in the kingdoms. His policy for dealing with the Shan was used by all Burmese kings until the kingdom was taken control of by the British in 1885.[2]

He could not use this policy everywhere in his very large empire. His empire was a group of former sovereign kingdoms. The kings of each of the kingdoms were loyal to him. He was the Cakravartin (Universal Ruler). They were not loyal to the kingdom itself. Siam left the kingdom three years after of his death in 1584. By 1599, all the sub-kingdoms had left. Bayinnaung's empire had ended.

He is thought to be one of the three best Burmese kings. The other two are Anawrahta and Alaungpaya. Many well known places in modern Myanmar are named after him. He is also well known in Thailand because of a popular song and book. Both are called "Phu Chana Sip Thit". The name means "the Conqueror of Ten Directions."


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  1. Lieberman, pp. 150–154
  2. Htin Aung, pp. 117–118