Thayetmyo 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.

Thayetmyo Town

Head-quarters of Thayetmyo District, Burma, situated in 19° 20' N. and 95° 12' E., in the centre of an undulating plain on the right bank of the Irrawaddy, about 1 1 miles south of the old frontier between Upper and Lower Burma, and immediately oppo- site the town of AUanmyo, with which it is connected by a launch ferry. The name Thayetmyo in its present form means ' mango city ' (thayet = 'mango') ; but this is said to be a corruption of That-yet-myo ('city of slaughter '), a name given to the town to commemorate the murder of his sons by a ruler of olden days, who feared they would rebel on attaining manhood. The town is said to have been founded about 1306 by a son of the last king of Pagan, and contains one of the Shwe- moktaw pagodas which is alleged to have been erected by Asoka but is not the repository of any antiquities. On the annexation of Pegu the town contained only 200 or 300 houses, but it rapidly grew after becoming a military station. During the ten years ending 1901 the population fell from 17,101 to 15,824, partly owing to the decrease of the garrison, which now consists of the head-quarters and wing of a British regiment and a Native regiment. The cantonment, which occupies a well-timbered area close to the river bank, contains a fine set of barracks, built in 1854. The small fort north of the cantonment is now used as a military prison. The station is one of the healthiest in India for British troops, the death-rate in 1901 being only 5/2 per 1,000. In April and May the heat is very great, and the glare off the sandbanks that extend along the river face adds considerably to the discomfort of the residents. At this season the surroundings of the station have a very dried-up and parched appearance, but with the rains the verdure reasserts itself, and the cold season is distinctly pleasant. The rainfall is moderate, averaging 36 inches per annum.

The town has been administered since 1887 by a municipal com- mittee, which at present consists of 3 ex-officio and 9 nominated members. The elective system is not in force. The municipal in- come and expenditure during the ten years ending 1901 averaged between Rs. 30,000 and Rs. 31,000. In 1903-4 the income amounted to Rs. 30,000 (house and land tax, Rs. 8,300 ; markets, tScc, Rs. 16,700), and the expenditure to Rs. 54,000, the chief items being conservancy (Rs. 8,700) and hospital (Rs. 28,000). The annual income and expen- diture of the cantonment fund amounts to about Rs. 13,000. A new nmnicipal hospital has replaced the old one burnt down in 1900. The municipal school educates up to the seventh standard, and has an average attendance of 140. There is a large Central jail on the out- skirts of the town. Thayetmyo is an important station of call for river steamers, but it has achieved no special importance as a trade centre. The best known of its industries is silver-work, which can hold its own with that of any other town in Burma.

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