Bago, ancient capital of the Mon Kings of the 14th to 16th century and of second Myanmar Empire created by King Bayinnaung, is located only 80 km from Yangon. The Shwemawdaw Pagoda, Kalyani Thein (Ordination Hall), the 55-metre long Shwethalyaung Reclining Buddha, the four giant Buddha images of Kyaikpun Pagoda and the reconstructed Kamboza-thadi Palace of Bayinnaung are some of the highlights.
Bago is one of the richest archaeological sites in Myanmar. The Archaeology department has being excavating at the Palace site of King Ba-yint-naug at the ancient Royal Capital Bago. The work of excavation and reconstruction of old capital and palace was begun in 1990. The archaeological excavation made good progress and reconstruction of palace is nearly completed.
King Bayint Naung was well-known as the founder of the 16th century Second Myanmar Empire. His palace Kambawza Thardi has been reconstructed to its exact replica. In the compound of the palace exists Nandawya Research Museum where the grandeur of the 16th century Hanthawaddy Period can be observed. In the Museum, the excavated remaining parts of the original palace's teak pillars and big teak POSTs presented by respective noblemen to King Ba-yint-naug are displayed. In his reign, King Bayint Naung was a very powerful king in South-East Asia.
The 16th century sacred Buddha images revered by King Bayint Naung are also exhibited. They show the high artistic handiwork of ancient Myanma culture. Utensils, which include glazed earthen utensils and potsherd of the Hanthawaddy Period, are also displayed.
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