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Mawlamyine, formerly Moulmein, is the fourth largest city of Burma (Myanmar), 300 km south east of Yangon and 70 km south of Thaton, at the mouth of Thanlwin (Salween) River. The city is the capital and largest city of Mon State, Myanmar and is the main trading center and seaport in south eastern Burma.Etymology and legendThe Mon name which was previously used for Mawlamyine, Moulmein means "damaged eye."It is said to derive from Mot-Mua-Lum, meaning "one eye destroyed". According to legend, a Mon king had a powerful third eye in the centre of his forehead, able to see what was happening in neighbouring kingdoms. The daughter of one of the neighbouring kings was given in marriage to the three-eyed king and managed to destroy the third eye. The Burmese name "Mawlamyine" is believed to be a corruption of the Mon name.HistoryEarly HistoryAccording to Kalyani Inscriptions erected by King Dhammazedi of Hanthawaddy Pegu in 1479, Mawlamyine was mentioned among the ‘32 myo’ or thirty-two Mon cities within the Martaban division.Colonial Moulmein (1824-1948)Mawlamyine was the first capital of British Burma between 1826 and 1852 after the Tanintharyi (Tenassarim) coast, along with Arakan, was ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Yandabo at the end of the First Anglo-Burmese War. After the first Anglo-Burmese war, the British made it their capital between 1826 and 1852, building government offices, churches and a massive prison. They started business enterprises and the country’s first newspaper. Between 1826 and 1862, colonial Mawlamyine was the center of British Burma and the first port city that became the “bridgehead” and a “nodal point” for the newly acquired British territory in Southeast Asia.Plan the details of your Mawlamyine holiday and any onward adventuring with our easy-to-use Myanmar driving holiday planner.
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