Sagaing Town

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This article has been extracted from



Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts. Some units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.

Sagaing Town

Head-quarters of the Division and District of the same name in Upper Burma, picturesquely situated in 21 54' N. and 96 E., opposite Amarapura on the right bank of the Irrawaddy, at the sweeping cuive of that river, as it changes its course from south to west. The bank here is high, and the town, emboweied in tamannd- tiees, is unusually healthy. The civil station occupies the southern portion of the river front. The native quarters he to the south, north, and north-west of the Euiopean quarter , and on the foieshore in the noith-east corner of the town are the railway station and the steamer ghat Whence communication is established with the Amarapura side of the river by a steam ferry. North of the railway station again stretches a long range of arid hills covered "with pagodas and monasteries, which follows the Irrawaddy along its western bank as fai as the north-eastern angle of the District. There is a good road along the river front from the railway station to the Commissioner's residence, and most of the main roads of the town run parallel to or at right angles to it.

The population of Sagaing town was 9,934 in 1891 and 9,643 in 1901, and included in the lattei year 670 Musalmans and 218 Hindus. In addition to a fairly large Indian population, the town contains a good many Ponnas or Mampuns, who live in a quarter of their own. It is a fairly thriving industrial centre, and is well-known for its silk- weaving,

Sagamg (or Sit-kaing, ' the branch of a sit tree ') dates as a capital from AD. 1315, when Athin Khaya made himself independent of the Shan kingdom of Pmya. In 1364 Athin Khaya's grandson, Thadomm- paya, founded the kingdom of Ava, and Sagamg was destroyed by the Shans. It was at Sagamg that the Mampuri invasion of 1733 was checked ; but the town did not again become a capital till 1760, when a city, with a circumference of 2 miles, was built by Naungdawgyi, the eldest son of Alaungpaya, only to lapse into comparative insignificance on his death. The old city lies to the north of the present town, north of the Zingyan creek and east of the Sigongyi pagoda. An attempt was made by the Burman garrisons of Sagamg to stop the British flotilla ascending the Irrawaddy in the 1885 expedition, but the forts, being inadequately defended on the land side, were soon captured.

Sagamg was constituted a municipality m 1888 The municipal income and expendituie during the ten years ending 1901 averaged Rs. 27,000. In 1903-4 the income was Rs, 35,700, including Rs 14,700 from the bazars and Rs. 3,800 house and land tax ; and the expenditure was Rs. 36,000, the chief items being conservancy (Rs. 6,600), hospital (Rs, 5,500), roads (Rs. 3,900), and lighting (Rs. 2,900). The municipality owns a large and a small bazar, and supports a hospital with 64 beds. There is an Anglo-vernacular school at Sagaing, maintained till recently by the municipality at a cost of Rs 2,300 annually It is now maintained by Government.

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