Anandacandra Stone Inscriptions

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The first written historical record of Arakan comes in the form of a List of Kings found on the Anandacandra Stone Inscription, which dates from ~729 CE.

The Anandacandra Stone Inscription is an important evidence of early history of Rakhine, especially from late B.C. to eight century A.D. Significance of it is that there were no contemporary Indian inscriptions, which mentioned the reigning years of kings and queens in Sanskrit and it is also the rare one even in the world. Significance also found is that the
three different faces are inscribed in Sanskrit with three different North Indian scripts belonging to three different eras which are separated from each other by a lapse of 200 years.

UNESCO Regional Committee’s description

“The stone inscription is important evidence of the early history of Rakhine, especially from the late BCE to the eighth century CE, as no other contemporary inscriptions have so far come to light. It was discovered in the 19th century, and there is no doubt about its authenticity. The physical format of the inscription, engraved on one face of a tall four-sided pillar, is a rare surviving example of its type in South and Southeast Asia.  So far, only one face (in Sanskrit) has been able to be deciphered. Texts on the other faces in three other North Indian scripts have not yet been deciphered, and appear to have suffered significant damage and irrecoverable loss. The legible face is preserved nearly intact, with only the top 6 (out of 72) lines having been already damaged by the time of discovery.

This inscription is important for the dynastic and political history of first millennium Arakan and Southeast Bengal, being the only inscription from Arakan that gives a sequence of ancestors of a ruling king over several centuries, providing a narrative of first-millennium Arakan history, and giving allusions to political connections with Sri Lanka and the Andhra area in India and to religious Buddhist practices. No other reliable chronicles or oral history for Arakan in the first millennium have so far been identified, so this inscription provides new historical information. While Sanskrit inscriptions in verse form are widespread throughout South and Southeast Asia, there is no other extensive and relatively intact document that is formulated in Sanskrit verse style. In the context of Myanmar, Sanskrit has only ever been used extensively in Arakan, and never in the other parts of the country, and this inscription is by far the most extensive and best preserved example.

There are concerns regarding preservation. The pillar is preserved in a tiny hut where there are problems of humidity and salinity in the ground, and access by birds and other animals.”

Where it is now

While it was originally in Vesali, the Anandacandra Inscription is now at the Shitthuang Temple in Mrauk U.


A famous line from the stone inscriptions is about the beauty of Vesali city.

“Having built a city
which is more beautiful and splendid
than the city of the celestial beings
as if mocking the latter city . . .”– Anandacandra Stone, Verse 21, describing Vesali 


  • Last updated on 17th February 2022

four sides of the Anandacandra Stone Inscription

list of monarchs 1_ by မောင်ဖြူ (ကြွီတဲကျွန်း)
list of monarchs 2_ by မောင်ဖြူ (ကြွီတဲကျွန်း)
list of monarchs 3_ by မောင်ဖြူ (ကြွီတဲကျွန်း)

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