Sagaing is the capital of Sagaing Region. Located on the Ayeyarwady River, 20 km to the south-west of Mandalay on the opposite bank of the river, Sagaing, with numerous Buddhist monasteries is an important religious and monastic centre. The pagodas and monasteries crowd the numerous hills along the ridge running parallel to the river. The central pagoda, Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda, is connected by a set of covered staircases that run up the 240 m hill.
Sagaing was the capital of Sagaing Kingdom, one of the minor kingdoms that rose up after the fall of Pagan dynasty, where one of Thihathu's sons, Athinkhaya, established himself. During the Ava period, the city was the common fief of the crown prince or senior princes. The city briefly became the royal capital between 1760 and 1763 in the reign of King Naungdawgyi.
On 8 August 1988, Sagaing was the site of demonstrations which were concluded by a massacre in which around 300 civilians were killed.
Today, with about 70,000 inhabitants, the city is part of Mandalay built-up area with more than 1,022,000 inhabitants estimated in 2011. The city is a frequent tourist destination of day trippers. Within the city are the Sagaing Institute of Education, the Sagaing Education College, Sagaing University, Technological University, and co-operative university.
- List of kings of Sagaing Kingdom
- Sithu Kyawhtin, King of Ava
- Zhu Youlang, Prince of Gui, last Ming Dynasty claimant to China, lived in exile at Sagaing in 1661
- Maurice Collis, author of Trials in Burma, district commissioner of the Sagaing district in 1928
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