Monday, 24 April 2017

Dr. Mohamed Ali


Bengal and Arakan were two neighbouring countries; they are neighbour even now but under changed political setup. The Naf river is the border line between the two countries. The Arakanese chronicles claim that the kingdom was founded in the year 2666 B.C.1 For many centuries Arakan had been an independent Kingdom due to its geographical location with occasional short breaks .It was ruled by various legendary dynasties and they established capital in different places alternately transferring from one place to another; they are Dinnawadi ,Vesali, Pyinsa, Parin, Krit, Launggayet and Mrohaung ( Mrauk- U) . All these capitals were situated in the Akyab district on or near the river Lemru. The last line of rulers, i.e, kings of the Mrohaung dynasty and their relations with contemporary Muslim rulers of Bengal is the subject matter of our study.


The object of this study is to highlight the main points on the relationship between Bengal and Arakan from 1430 to 1666 A.D. The terminal dates have been chosen keeping in view the two milestones in the History of Arakan and Bengal.The period began in the year 1430, which witnessed a new era in the Bengal-Arakan relations. In that year Min Sowa Mun, an exiled king of Arakan, was restored to the throne of Arakan by the king of Bengal. The study ends with the year 1666, when Chittagong was conquered by the Mughals from the Arakanese control. So the Bengal-Arakan relation in a given period is an important and interesting study both from political and cultural point of view.


The history of Arakan has been closely connected with that of Bengal long before that advent of the Muslims. Inscriptions mention a Chandra dynasty was founded in Arakan after the downfall of the third Dinnawadi dynasty (146-198 A.D.) whose names ended in Chandra. The rule of these kings, believed to have often extended as far as Chittagong. From a study of the coins and foreign relations, M.S. Collis came to conclusion that “The area known as north Arakan had been for many years before the 8th century the seat of Hindu dynasties; in 788 A.D. a new dynasty, known as the Chandras, founded the city of Wesali; this city became a noted trade port to which as many as thousands ships came annually; the Chandra kings were upholders of Buddhism,... their territory extended as far north as Chittagong.”2


The history of the Chandra rulers is, however, confusing because the inscriptions supply several lists of kings, but the most important information available in these inscriptions supported by medallic testimony, suggests close contact between the Arakanese Chandra rulers and the Chandra kings of Pattikera and other rulers of eastern Bengal and south Tippera.3  A tradition current in Arakan says that an Arakanese  Chandra king Tsulating Chandra (951-957 A.D.) invaded Chittagong and defeated the local ruler supposed to be a successor of the great Kantideva, the king of Harikelamandala, mentioned in the Chittagong copper plate.4 To commemorate this event the  Arakanese   king eracted  a stone trophy  some where in Chittagong ( provably near Kumira) and engraved on it the words "Tsittagaung" meaning to make war is improper. It is said that modern name Chittagong is derived from these words of the Arakanese king.5 The relation between Arakan and east Bengal is also found immortalized in the famous romantic story recorded in legendary tales of Burma and Arakan. The legends have come to us in two different versions; the Burmese tradition connects Pattikeran prince with Shwenthi (Shanti), the princes of Burma; on the other hand  the Arakanese tradition says that a certain king Pattikera of the kingdom  of Marawa  sent his two daughters as presents to the kings  respectively of Arakan and Tampadipa.6  In spite of variations in the traditional accounts, there is probably no doubt that there was good relationship between Arakan and Southeast Bengal in the pre-Muslim period. Pattikera was the name of a geographical  area near modern  Comilla town and was probably the capital  of old Samatata( Comilla- Chittagong region, east of the Meghna ); Pattikera is mentioned in the Mainamati copper plate of Ranavankamalla  Harikeladeva of the Saka year 1141 (1219 A.D).Therefore, it seems very  probable that the Chandra rulers of Arakan had good relationship with the Chandra Kings of Southeast Bengal of Comilla-Chittagong region.7 A.M. Chowdhury writes, “It is not unlikely that the Chandras of southeastern Bengal were connected with the Chandra rulers of Arakan. The existence of Chandra dynasty in Arakan with their seat at Wethali(Vesali) from 788 to 957 A.D. is evidenced by Arakanese traditions and epigraphic records. The discovery of coins similar to those of Arakan and terracotta plaques with representations of Arakanese and Burmese men and women at Mainamati strongly suggest a close connection between Arakan or Tippera.” 8


After the fall of Chandra ruling house around 957 A.D. several royal houses ruled Arakan successfully, they are known by their capital cities mentioned earlier. Following the Chandras political stability was a thing unknown to Arakan. She faced internal chaos, anarchy prevailed, different groups fought amongst themselves, and she also suffered chronically from raids. This chaotic situation continued up to the emergence of the Mrohaung dynasty (Mrauk-U). In these chaotic conditions, Min Sowa Mun (Narameikhla) occupied the throne of Arakan in 1404 A.D.The people, however, rose against him and he was expelled from the country, The expelled king fled to Gaur, capital of the Bengal Sultanate, and took refuge in the court of the Muslim king in Bengal. The dethroned king was received very courteously and allowed to stay there.9


Both A.P. Phayre10 and G.E. Harvey11 state that Min Sowa Mun fled from his country because he could not withstand the Burmese invasion and took shelter in Bengal in 1406 A.D. in the court of Sultan Ghias ud-din Azam Shah, but his ally the king of Bengal could not help him immediately. Sultan Ghias ud-din  Azam Shah's attention  was drawn to more pressing matters inside his dominion and so the Arakanese king had to pass  about a quarter of a century in  his exile in Bengal. In the meantime the country of Bengal faced a foreign attack, that of Ibrahim Sharqi of Jaunpur, there were several palace killings and there was also a dynastic revolution. During this period the exiled king Min Sowa  Mun rendered good service to his protector. The services rendered by the Arakanese king were to train the Bengali soldiers as how to face foreign invasion and deal with invading elephants, horses and dogs.12 Catching of elephants by kheda operations and training them were also taught to the Bengali soldiers by the Arakanese king.13 The tricks taught by Min Sowa Mun to the Bengali army have helped them to overpower the enemy, and this may also helped the Arakanese king to draw the attention of Bengali Sultan in his favour. So out of gratitude for these services Sultan Jalal ud-din Muhammad Shah of Bengal decided to assist the exiled king in the recovery of his kingdom.


The Arakanese king Min Sowa Mun regained his throne in 1430 A.D. after an exiled life of 24 years. This event is epoch making in the history of both Bengal and Arakan. But the reinstatement of Min Sowa Mun was not easy. When the king Min Sowa Mun was still in exile the kings of Burma and Pegu made Arakan their battle ground. Attacks and counter attacks went on, in which Arakan was the worst sufferer. Meanwhile in Arakan, the political atmosphere turned form bed to worse.14 It appears that Arakan plunged into a civil war in which Arakanese nobles took part. Sultan Jalal ud-din Mohammad shah of Bengal took this opportunity to send his army to reinstate his royal guest Min Sowa Mun to his paternal throne.


In doing so the Bengal king sent with Min Sowa Mun an army under a general named U-Lu-Kheng alies Wali Khan. The general betrayed his trust, reaching Arakan, he found the situation favourable for him to gain independence. Among the faction-ridden chiefs of Arakan, he took one named Tse-u-ka into confidence and with his help established a government and imprisoned Min Sowa Mun. The latter, however escaped and came back to his benefactor. The Bengal king sent another army in his aid. This time the Bengal army was formidable, it was sent under a general named Tshat-ya-khat.15 They were asked not only reinstate Min Sowa Mun on his throne, but also to punish the betrayer Wali Khan. This expedition was successful, the immediate gain was that the exiled king Min Sowa Mun regain his throne and Wali Khan met the fate he deserved, i.e. he was killed.  The Arakanese sources record in glowing terms how the king was received by the people of Arakan amidst joy and rejoicings. The people of the capital city and the country side alike joined in the festivities.


Min Sowa Mun, before reinstatement, made the pact with the Bengal Sultan to pay for the cost of the expedition and to pay tribute. Undoubtedly the restoration was the result of diplomatic exercises; though details of diplomatic activities on both sides are not known for want of contemporary records. But it may be said without doubt that both sides reached an agreement on certain conditions. It must say with confidence that the first point of agreement between the king of Arakan and that of Bengal was that the Arakanese king accepted Suzerainty of Bengal and agreed to pay tribute to Bengal. This is accepted by all modern scholars 16 and it is also said that Min Sowa Mun agreed to pay one lakh tanka a year.17 To pay this huge amount of money the king of Arakan had to modernized his mint with the help of Bengali mint experts. Probably mint masters, dice experts and calligraphists or inscribers all were taken from Bengal. So with effect from the year 1430 A.D. the kingdom of Arakan became tributary to Bengal and the kings assumed a Muslim name and struck coins with the Kalimah inscribed thereon.18 The restored king, Min Sowa Mun, also himself took Muslim title Swa Mun Shah, the word shah adding to his Buddhist name.19


Now the question arises, why did the Arakanese kings inscribe Muslim names in their coins in Arabic character? Nothing definite can be said in the absence of any written sources. But one thing is certain that the Arakanese King Min Sowa Mun bound himself to tribute to Bengal. But how to pay tribute? Arakan had the tradition of striking symbolic coins, but those were not acceptable to Bengal, they were no more than silver pieces to the Bengali people. To make their coins acceptable Arakan had to strike coins in the same fashion as the Bengali coins, not only in shape and size but also in the inscription of kings name.Bengal coinage was far superior to that of the symbolic coins of Arakan. So it seems very probable that Arakan started striking coins in the Bengali fashion, and also with inscription of Muslim names to meet the pledge of paying tribute to Bengal, but later they found the system most convenient and profitable in trade and commerce. A.P. Phayre observes that the practice of assuming Muslim name and inscribing Kalimah in their coins was probably first introduced in fulfillment of the promise made by Mung-Somwun but was continued in later times as a token of sovereignty in Chittagong.20 He also mentions that these they assumed as being successor of Mussalman kings, or as being anxious to imitate the prevailing fashion of India.21 Not only that, European writers like Fray Sebastien Manrique have written the Muslim names of some Arakanese kings. Manrique stayed in the Arakanese court for  a few years and he was present in the coronation ceremony of the king Thri Thudamma (Salim Shah ). So Manrique’s statement can not be doubted. 22 Manrique used the Muslim name only, he did not used the Buddhist name of the king. This is significant, it proves beyond doubt that the adoption of Muslim name by the Arakanese king was not just imitation of prevailing fashion of India.. This is a new phenomenon in the history of Arakan. This practice was prevalent among the Arakanese kings till the first half of the seventeenth century.23 A list of such king adopting Muslim names is given below: 24


Name of Kings                                     Reigning Period                      Muslim Names


1.Min Saw Mum or Narameikhla    1430-1434                      Sulaiman Shah or Saw Mun Shah

2.         Naranu or Min Khari                   1434-1459                     Ali Shah or Ali Khan

3.         Basawpyu                                 1459-1482                     Kalima Shah

4.         Min Dawlya                               1482-1492                     Mu-Khu-Shah

5.         Basawnyo                                 1492-1494                     Muhammad Shah

6.         Yanaung                                   1494                             Nuri Shah

7.         Salingathu                                 1494-1501                     Shiek Abddullah Shah

8.         Minyaza                                    1501-1513                     Ilyas Shah-I

9.         Kasabadi                                   1513-1515                     Ilylas Shah-II

10.        Mim Saw O                               515                               Jallal Shahs

11.        Thatasa                                    1515-1521                     Ali Shah

12.        Min Khaung Raza                      1521-1531                     El-Shah Azad

13.        Min Bin                                     1531-1553                     Zabuk Shah

14.        Min Dikha                                  1553-1555                     Daud Khan

15.        Min Palaung                              1571-1593                     Sikandar Shah

16.        Minyazagyi                                1593-1612                     Salim Shah-I

17.        Min Khamaung                          1612-1622                     Husain Shah

18.        Thiri Thudamma                         1622-1638                     Salim Shah-II


The above list shows that Arakanese kings used Muslim names in their coins from 1430 to 1635, more than two hundreds years. There are two small gaps, from 1513 –15 and1521-23, and another gap of 18 years from 1553-1571, altogether 22 years. The gaps are probably because the coins of the rulers of these years have so far escaped the notice of archaeologists and historians. 25


As the Muslim influence was predominant, the Arakanese kings though Buddhist in religion, became somewhat Mohamadanised in their ideas. G.E. Harvey rightly points out that,26


“It is common for the kings, though Buddhist, to use Mahomedan designations in addition to their own names, and even to issue medallions bearing the Kalima, the Mahomedan confession of faith, in Persian script.”(actually in Arabic script)


After regaining the throne Min Sowa Mun (Narameikhla) took some major administrative measures. first he shifted the capital of Arakan from launggayet to Mrohaung near the frontier of Bengal. Then he established one more military out- posts of Bengal soldiers to face the Burmese aggression by strengthening frontier defences. These Bengal soldiers lived there for centuries with the local inhabitants with peace and amity. The Muslim soldiers, nobles and servants, who came from Bengal, accompanied by Min Sowa Mun, settled down at Mrohaung and built the famous Sandikhan mosque.27 In accordance with the Muslim tradition like Gaur and Delhi, the whole kingdom of Arakan was divided in to some judicial units, each of which was provided with a set of  officials by the imperial order. The head of officials was known as Qazi. Some of them were prominent in the history of  Arakan. They are Daulat Qazi, Sala Qazi,Gawa Qazi, Shuza Qazi, Abdul Karim, Muhammed Hussain, Osman, Abdul Jabbar, Abdul Gafur, Mohammed Yousuf, Rawsan Ali and Nur Mohammed etc.28 Gradually a mixed Muslim society and culture developed and flourished around the capital.     


So the Muslim influence in Arakan may be said to date from 1430, the year of Min Sowa Mun’s (Narmeikhla) restoration. During his reign an unexpected development took place, which paved the way for a period of Muslim domination in the land of Arakan. “From this time onwards the relation of Muslims with the Arakanese became more intimate and for about two centuries Arakan was united in a bond of friendship with Islamic lands. As a result of the impact of the civilization of the Muslims, Arakanese culture also progressed and thus began the ‘Golden Age’ in the history of Arakan.”29


The relations between Bengal and Arakan were sometimes friendly, but more often they were at daggers drawn. Sometimes  after the death (1434 A.D.) of Min Sowa Mun, Arakan and Bengal were found to have taken part in armed conflict against one another.The enmity was chiefly over the possession of Chittagong. Chittagong, having been a sea port,30 its possession coveted by the neighbour. As for the Muslim rulers of Bengal, the defence of southeastern border was of great importance, and it could be effectively dependent by controlling the seaport. Arakan having been situated on the sea, she had good harbours, but she also preferred the Chittagong harbour to that of Mrohaung, because from the base of Chittagong the Bengal Sultan could easily move up to the river Naf, which was the boundary line between the two countries. That is why both Bengal and Arakan always tried to keep Chittagong under their control and we find aggressive design leading to attacks of one party against the other and this continued intermittently for a long period. So Chittagong became the bone of contention between the two countries. Sometimes the king of Tippera also tried to have control over Chittagong.Tippera was a land – locked country. She had no access to the sea.So the king of Tippra came to realise the importance of the port of Chittagong for the economic and commercial upliftment of their country. So all the three surrounding powers had their interests in the possession of Chittagong, which led to the tripartite struggle.  Finally the Arakanese kings became the master of Chittagong and remained so for the next eighty years, until 1666 A.D. when the Mughal viceroy Shaista khan finally conqured Chittagong. While the Arakanese held these possessions in Bengal, they appear to have recruited a number of the inhabitants into Arakan as agricultural labour.   


The Arakanese had never cultivated a friendly relation with the Mughal authority. After the end of the Sultanate period and the foundation of Mughal rule in Bengal, the Bengal-Arakan conflict took a new turn. The Mughal conquest up to Feni river changed the whole geo-political situation and it became the cause of headache to the Arakansese king.  So as the Mughals sent expedition to conquer Chittagong, the Arakan king also sent campaign after campaign and kept the Mughals busy. 


Meanwhile, the presence of Portuguese in the Indian waters presented fresh problems. They came as traders, but from the 17th century they turned to piracy; failing in competition with Dutch and the English, they found piracy more profitable than fair trade and commerce. In their piratical activities, they first came into clash with the Arakanese, but after several losses both parties formed unholy alliance as they found it, more profitable than enmity and clashes.31 So, the kings of Arakan encouraged the Portuguese to continue their piratical activities in the Mughal dominions, the Portuguese were allowed to establish their piratical bases in their country. Sometimes, the Arakanese joined their hands with the Portuguese pirates. By dominating the riverine tracts they plundered and devastated large parts of southern and eastern Bengal.32 They carried a large number of men, women and children from the coastal districts of Bengal33 as captives and the Arakanese employed them as agricultural labours. It is well known that the kingdom of Arakan was a sparsely populated area, which required huge amount of human labour for agriculture. With this intention the Arakanese employed a large number of captives in the tillage of land on the banks of the Kuladan river to the Naf. This Kula population of the country form about 15 percent of the whole population.34   


The defeat of Shah   Shuja, the son of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, in the war of succession in the hands of Mir Jumla, general of Aurangzeb opened a new chapter in the history of the relationship between Bengal and Arakan. In 1660, Shah Shuja had to leave Bengal for Arakan. He had arrived at the capital (Mrohaung) on 26th August, 1660 with his wife Pari Banu, two daughters, three sons and a number of followers. The prince was given a cordial reception at Arakan and was allowed to stay there under the royal protection.35 Hamilton, a sea captain in the Far eastern waters, gives a good description regarding the reception and promise made by the king to the exiled prince as follows: “It was into this country (Arakan) that the unfortunate Sultan Shuja came a suppliant for protection when Emirjemal(Mir Jumla) chased him out of Bengal. He carried his children with him, and about two hundred of his retinue, who were resolved to follow his fortune, and he carried six or eight Camels load of gold and jewels which proved his ruin when Sultan Shuja first visited the king of Arakan, he made him presents suitable to the quality of the donor and receiver, the Arackaner promising him all the civilities due to so great a prince, with a safe asylum for himself and family.” 36  But as days rolled  on it seems that the attitude of the king  was becoming colder and  ultimately became hostile to the refuge prince.37 What ever may be the reason, Shuja was killed, his wife, sons and daughters were also ignominiously murdered.38 There are different versions amount the historians about the death of Shah Shuja and his family. Probably the wealth or treasure brought into Arakan by the prince was largely responsible for their death. Bernier, Dow, Bowery and Hamilton, all the European writers are clear on this point. 39 In order to satisfy his ill motive the Arakanese king wanted to provoke a quarrel with Shuja. Hamilton rightly says, “At last he found a very fair one. Sultan Shuja having a very beautiful daughter, the king of Arakan desired her in marriage but knew very well that Sultan Shuja would never consent to the match he being a Pagan and she a Mahomedan…Sultan Shuja at last give him a final denial on which the base king sent him orders to go out of his dominion in three days and forbade the markets to furnish him any more with provision for his money.” 40 As a result the relations were again estranged. Emperor Aurangzeb was not very much unhappy over the murder of Shah Shuja, but he did not like murder of Mughal princes, particularly princes in the hands of the savage Arakanese. Moreover Arakanese king did not stop employing pirates to carry out depredations into the Mughal territory. So he ordered Subahdar Shaista Khan to punish  Arakanese and to wrest Chittagong from their hands. Accordingly Chittagong  was conquered  by the Mughals in January 1666 A.D. , the Arakanese Maghs left Chittagong ( both city and county side) never to re-occupy it.41 Chittagong finally became a  part of Bengal, it has remained a part of Bengal through the later Mughals  and  the British period and now she is a part of Bangladesh. After 1666 A.D., Arakan was again involved in internal chaos and confusion. However, in these troublesome conditions, Arakan lost her independent entity, because, the king of Burma taking advantage of the situation occupied Arakan in 1785 A.D., and this marked the end of the Kingdom of Arakan.   


An age long intercourse between Bengal and Arakan has left distinctive marks on various aspects of the society, culture and administration of both. The Muslims courtiers, high officials and learned men of high caliber, who held responsible posts in the Arakanese administration, contributed a great deal to the growth of Islamic culture in Arakan. The king of Arakan appointed some ministers from the Muslim community. This Muslim ministers used to hold miniature courts of their own, they patronised Muslim poets, learned men and sufi-saints. With the support of the Muslim nobles Bengali literature reached its highest peak.  Even Muslim manner and etiquette were introduced in the court of Arakan. Manrique noticed that the visitors were required to pay taslim (i.e.  a respectful mode of salutation like the Muslims) before the king.42 Even Harvey43 said that it is Mohammadan influence which led to women being more isolated in Arakan then in Burma. So the Muslim influence in Arakan was deeply rooted.


On other hand the Arakanese influence on dress, food, social custom etc. is also noticeable in Bengal. The lungi familiar home dress of the malefolk of Chittagong is thought to be and Arakanese influence. The Muslim women of in rural area still wear two pieces of clothes like their Arakanese sisters. The upper potion is known as doma and the lower part is known as thami. Arakanese influence is also noticeable in the place names of Chittagong. The three southern most thanas (i.e., police station) of Chittagong, viz., Ramu, Ukhiya and Teknaf are known as containing 360 palangs. Palang, an Arakanese word, means place or village or mouza.


So the study of Bengal-Arakan  Relations in a given period is an important and also fascinating one.



Notes and References:


1. A.P. Phayre, History of Burma, London, 1884, pp. 293-304.

2. M.S. Collis, ‘Arakan’s place in the civilization of the Bay’, Journal of the Burma Research society, 50th Anniversary publications, No. 2, Rangoon, 1960, p. 486.

3. For a discussion on this subject, see, R. C. Majumdar (ed.), History of Bengal, vol. I, Dhaka University, 1943, pp. 257-259.

4. Bangladesh District Gazetteer- Chittagong, Dhaka, 1975, pp. 60-61.

5. J.C. Ghose , “The Chandra dynasty of Arakan, Indian Historical Quarterly, 1931, p. 39. The Muslim tradion, however, originates the name of Chittagong to Chati (Chatigaon) of the Pir Badr Shah.

6. For details, see, R.C. Majumdar, (ed). op. cit, p. 257.

     Annual Report of the Archaeological survey of India, Burma, 1921-22, pp. 61-62, 1922-23, pp. 31-32.

7. Abdul Mabud Khan, The Arakanese in Bangladesh: A Socio-Cultural Study, unpublished Ph. D thesis, Calcutta University, 1992, pp. 22-26.

     D.G.E. Hall: A History of South East Asia, 2nd edition, pp. 134, 367.

     Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African  Studies(BSOAS),

     University of London, xi, pp. 358-385.

8. Abdul Momin Chowdhury, Dynastic History of Bengal, Asiatic Society of   Pakistan, Dhaka, 1967, p.162.  

9.  A.P. Phayre, op. cit; pp. 76-79.

    G.E. Harvey, History of Burma, London, 1925, p. 139.

10. A. P. Phayre, op. cit, p-78.

11. G.E. Harvey, op. cit, pp. 86-87.

12. Journal of the Asiatic of Bengal, Vol. xiii, 1844, p. 45.

It is however doubtful whether medieval Muslim rulers of Jaunpur, may even of India, used dogs in their warfare. There is no such reference in the Indian sources of the Muslim period.

13. Catching of elephants and training them was however known to the Mughals in Bengal. Instances of catching elephants and training them are found in Baharistan-i-Ghaibi of Mirza Nathan.

14. G.E. Harvey, op. cit, p. 384.

      A.P. Phayre, op. cit, pp. 77-78.

15. He was obviously a Muslim or a Hindu, but his actual name cannot be reconstructed. Jalal ud-ddin Muhammed Shah is known to have appointed many Hindu officers, his chief commander of the army was Rai Rayzadhar, a Hindu. Sukhamaya, Banglar Itihaser Dusha Bachar, Calcutta, 4th edition, 1988.

16. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. xiii, 1844, p. 46.

      It should be noted that the names and titles were in Arabic Characters.

      G.E. Harvey, op. cit, p. 140.

      M. Robinson and L.A. Shaw, The Coins and Bank Notes of Burma,       

      Manchester, England, 1980, p. 44

17. Charles Paton, Historical and Statistical Sketch in Arakan; Asiatic Researches, vol. xvi, 1828, (Reprint in New Delhi, 1980), p. 362.

18. A.P. Phayre, op. cit., pp. 77-78.

19. Min Sowa Mun’s own coin has not yet been discovered, but he took the title of Shah.

       San Tha Aung, Rakhaing Dinga Mya (Arkanese coins )*, Rangoon, 1979, p. 70. *(Translated into English by Aye Set and Hand written copy of the book was distributed by Michael Robinson and Aye Set in 1982.)

20. A.P. Phayre, op. cit, p. 78.

21. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. xiii, 1844, p. 46.

22. Manrique, Travels of Fray Sebastien Manrique, translated by Luard and Hosten, 

       vol.I, London, pp. 351-375.

23.  San Tha Aung, op. cit., p. 70.

24.  Ibid;

25. Ibid; See, Introduction.

26. G.E. Harvey, op. cit; p. 140.

27. A.M. Serajuddin, Muslim influence in Arakan and the Muslim names of Arakanese kings: A reassessment, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Vol. xxxi, No.I, June, 1986, p. 17.

28. Mahabubul Alam, Chattagramer Itihas (Purana Amal), Chittagong, 1965, pp. 55-56.

29. M. Siddiqul Khan, Muslim intercourse with Burma, Islamic Culture, vol. x, Hydarabad, July, 1936, p. 249.

30. Abdul Karim, Was Chittagong ever a capital city: A fresh study of some rare coins of Chittagong, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Vol.xxxi, January, 1986, p. I.

31. J.N. Sarkar (ed.), History of Bengal, Vol, II, Dhaka University, 1972(Reprint), pp. 313-23. J.N. Sarkar in Prabasi, 1312 B.S., p. 570.

32. For details, J.N. Sarkar, The Feringhi Pirates of Chatgaon, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. III, 1907, pp. 419-425.

33. Distirct Gazetteer-24 Parganas, p. 39.

34. A.P. Phayre, Account of Arakan, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. X, 1841, p. 681.

35. D.G.E. Hall, Studies in Dutch Relations with Arakan, Journal of the Burma Research Society, Vol. XXVI, Pt. I, 1936, p. 22. 

36. Hamilton, Alexander, A New Account of the East Indies, Edinburgh, 1727, II, p.77.

37. Charles Stewart, History of Bengal, London, 1913, p. 278.

38. Mannuci, N., Storia do Mogor or Mughal India (1653-1708), trans. by William Irvine, Indian reprint, 1981. Vol. I, p. 374.

39.  Bernier, F, Travels in the Mogal Empire, 1656-58,ed. by Constable, revised by V.A.Smith, Indian  edition, 1983,p.109.

         Dow,Alexander, The History of The Hindustan, London, 1772, p.328.

         Bowery, Thomas, A Geographical Account of the country around the Bay of Bengal. ed. by Sir Richard Temple, London, Hakluyt Society, 1905, p.141.

         Hamilton, Alexander, op.cit., p.77..

40.   Hamilton, Alexander, op.cit., p.27

41.  J.N. Sarkar (ed.), op.cit., p.381.

            Abdul Karim, History of Bengal, Mughal period, Vo. II, Rajshahi University, 1995, pp. 601-603.

42. Manrique, op.cit., p.155.

43. G.E. Harvey, An Outline of Burmese History, Calcutta, 1957, p. 90.




This paper was submitted at "Arakan History Conference", Bangkok 23.11 - 25.11.2005, organised by the Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

(Draft only. Please don't quote)