Rakhine State

Location: Rakhine State is situated in thc westerml1ost part of the nation. Bordering Chin State in the north and Magway Division. Bago Division and Ayeyawady Division in the east and facing Bay of Bengal in the west, it is located between latitudes 1730' north and 2130' north and east longitudes 9210' cast and 94z0' east. The area of the State is 14,200 sq-miles.

Rakhine State is located in tropical monsoon region. Temperatures never rise or fall extremely as it is a coastal region. The average temperature of Sittway in May the hottest month of the year, is 84F(29C) and in January, the coldest month of the year, is 70F(21C). Rakhine State gels a lot of rain annually as tl1e north-west monsoon winds blow from the sea almost right angle to the Yoma. Rakhine State gets rain from storms that formed in the Bay of Bengal. Annual rainfall at Thandwe is 221 inches Kyaukpyu 186 inches and Sittway 203 inches. Torrential rains fall and tidal waves rise from the sea when cyclones that are formed in the Bay of Bengal enter Rakhine State, causing property damages and flooding of salt water in low land areas. Though the storms appear mostly in early and later periods of rainy season. they sometimes appear in the mid rainy season.


Population, inhabitants languages and religion: State is a sparsely populated area as its mountainous landscape is covered by thick forests. Its population is over 2.6 million and Sittway is the most populous town in the state. Rakhines and Bamars live in valleys and on Yambye and Manaung islands. Chills are inhabitants of mountain regions of the north. Mros, Thets, Khamis, Dainets, Maramagyis and Kamans live on mountain ranges in the west and north of Sittway plain. The majority of people are Buddhists. Main languages are Rakhine and Myanmar.

State is a sparsely populated area as its mountainous landscape is covered by thick forests. Its population is over 2.6 million and Sittway is the most populous town in the state. Rakhines and Bamars live in valleys and on Yambye and Manaung islands. Chills are inhabitants of mountain regions of the north. Mros, Thets, Khamis, Dainets, Maramagyis and Kamans live on mountain ranges in the west and north of Sittway plain. The majority of people are Buddhists. Main languages are Rakhine and Myanmar.


Formation of districts, townships and villages: The total area of Rakhine State is 14,200 square-miles. The slate is formed with five districts. Which are Sittway. Maungtaw, Buthidaung, Kyaukpyu and Thandwe districts. These districts are formed with 17 townships and 1,164 village-tracts. Sittway is the capital city of the state. Other well-known towns are Thandwe, Kyaukpyu, Mrauk-U, Kyauktaw, Punnagyun, Minbya, Taungup, Yanbye and Gwa. Rakhine State Day falls on l 5 December.

The total area of Rakhine State is 14,200 square-miles. The slate is formed with five districts. Which are Sittway. Maungtaw, Buthidaung, Kyaukpyu and Thandwe districts. These districts are formed with 17 townships and 1,164 village-tracts. Sittway is the capital city of the state. Other well-known towns are Thandwe, Kyaukpyu, Mrauk-U, Kyauktaw, Punnagyun, Minbya, Taungup, Yanbye and Gwa. Rakhine State Day falls on l 5 December.


Sown acreage and produce: Rakhine State has a cultivated area of over one million acres including over 850,000 acres of paddy farm. nearly 20,000 acres of other crops. 15,000 acres of silted-land cultivated areas. 36.00() acres of garden farms, over 12,000 acres of hill-side cultivation and 13.000 of nipa palm trees. Eighty-five per cent of total sown acreage is paddy Fields. Over 860,000 acres are put under monsoon paddy in the stale yearly. Annual yield of monsoon paddy is 48 million baskets. Summer paddy is cultivated on over 15.000 acres y early. Mastard, groundnut, onion, chilli and beans and pulses are also cultivated in the state.

The main crop of Sittway plain is paddy. Other crops such as mustard, sesame chili. sugarcane, onion, potato, com. areca nut, betel leaf. tobacco and vegetables are also cultivated in thc region. Rubber is grown in Thandwe and Gwa townships. Coconut farms can be seen along the coastal areas and nipa palm plantations along the banks of creeks and rivers. Some people of the coastal areas conduct both fishing and agriculture. A kind of small fish called by locals "Nganidu" is the significant product of Rakhine State.

Other products: There are Fishing stations in Sittway and Kyaukpyu townships. using modern trawlers in catching prawns and fish at sea. Most of the catch (fish and prawns) is transported to Yangon. Some of the catch is exported. Cold storages are located at Tattaung near the mouth of Ann Creek. Kyaukpyu has a Fisheries Training School. Thc State-owned pearl culture station is situated on Apawye Island near Thandwe. Sun-dried salt and refined salt is produced along the coast. Wood products such as timber. bamboo and fuel wood are extracted from forest. Small amount of crude oil is produced from shallow wells on Yanbye. Manaung. Ye, Phayonga au1d Mozi islands. Alabaster is mined at Naypu Hill near Taungup Township.

Traditions and culture and festivals: Rakhine State Day falls on 15 December. Buddha pujaniyas of Hsandawshin Pagoda on West Phayonga Island, Shitthaung Pagoda in MraukU and Bhudawmaw Pagoda are famous in the state. Rice Pounding Festival which is observed at the end of Buddhist Lent. Carriage Festival which is held in Tabodwe. Boat Festival which is held in Tagu and Kyin (Wrestling) Festival are traditional Rakhine festivals.


Kissapanadi Bridge, Rakhine State

Historical sites and interesting places: Located between Kaladan and Lemyo rivers. MraukU. an ancient royal town, is rich in interesting historical sites such as pagodas and other cultural edifices and antiques. Moreover the ancient cities Danyawady and Vassali are located in the state. Ngapali and Kanthaya are beautiful beach resorts.

Radio and TV retransmission stations and microwave stations:
A 10-kilowatt TV retransmission station is located in Sittway Township; a one-kilowatt station in Buthidaung Township a 20-kilowatt station at Yanbye Township. There are six microwave stations in Rakhine State.


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Prepared by THAN TUN WIN, Embassy of the Union of Myanmar , Brussels