Pathein (formerly known as Bassein) is a city (1983 pop. 144,092) and the capital of Ayeyarwaddy Region, Myanmar. Lying at the western edge of the Ayeyarwaddy river delta, on the Pathein (Ngawan) River 190 km west of Yangon, Pathein is accessible to large vessels and despite its distance from the ocean, it is the most important delta port outside of Yangon. It is also the terminus of a branch of the main railroad line. The town is a rice-milling and export center.
The British built a fort and established a garrison in 1826, after the
First Anglo-Burmese War.
Interesting Places in Pathein
The main sight of Pathein is Shwemokhtaw Pagoda, a Buddhist temple originally founded (according to local legend) by King Asoka of India in 305 BC. Bagan’s King Alaungsithu raised the height of the stupa to 11 meters in 1115 AD, and King Samodogossa raised it to 40 meters in 1263 AD. The stupa is now 46.6 meters tall, with the topmost layer made of 6.3 kg of solid gold, the middle tier of pure silver, and the third tier of bronze, with some 829 diamonds, 843 rubies, and 1588 semi-precious stones.
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