Bago is a richly cultural and historic town slowly getting popular to tourists located about 90 kilometers North East of Yangon.
The town used to have the name Pugu in the past when it was founded and ruled by the Mon people in the 6th century. This cultural hub played the role as the capital of the Mon Kingdom Hanthawaddy until halfway the 16th century, after which it became the capital of the Taungoo Kingdom until 1599.
When the Mon conducted battles and war against the Burmese in 1757, the city was entirely destructed by the armies of King Alaungpaya of the Konbaung dynasty. The city after that was reconstructed, but it did lose its importance.
A local legend says the Buddha once travelled to the area seeing a couple of Hintha birds flying across the waters and looking for a resting place. The male bird landed on the only available spot which was just large enough for one bird, then the female perched on top of the male bird. When the Buddha saw this, he prophesied that one day there would be a city prospering at this location.
There is a beautiful painting of the prophecy that can be seen at the Hintha Gon Paya, a few hundred meters east of the Shwemawdaw Paya. Besides, tourists can easily find a mural showing the Buddha pointing at the two birds, the female bird perching on top of the male one. The Hintha bird is the symbol of the Bago town, thus it can be seen popularly around the town.
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