Minkhaung II of Toungoo

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This article is about Viceroy Minkhaung II of Toungoo (Taungoo), not King Minkhaung II of Ava (Inwa).
Minkhaung II of Toungoo
တောင်ငူ မင်းခေါင်
Thihathu of Toungoo
Viceroy of Toungoo
Reign March 1549 – 30 April 1550
6 June 1552 – June 1584
Predecessor Mingyi Swe
Successor Minye Thihathu II
Born 1520s
Toungoo (Taungoo)
Died June 1584
Waso 946 ME
Toungoo (Taungoo)
Spouse Laygyun Mibaya
among others...
two sons and four daughters including:
Minye Thihathu II
Thado Dhamma Yaza
Min Phyu
Thiri Yaza Dewi
Min Htwe
House Toungoo
Father Mingyi Swe
Mother Sister of Shin Myo Myat
Religion Theravada Buddhism

Minkhaung II of Toungoo (Burmese: တောင်ငူ မင်းခေါင်, pronounced [tàʊɴŋù mɪ́ɴɡàʊɴ]; 1520s–1584) was viceroy of Toungoo (Taungoo) from 1549 to 1551 and from 1552 to 1584 during the reigns of kings Tabinshwehti, Bayinnaung and Nanda of Toungoo Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar). He briefly revolted against his eldest half-brother Bayinnaung from 1550 to 1551 but was pardoned by Bayinnaung. Alongside his brothers Bayinnaung, Minye Sithu, Thado Dhamma Yaza II, Thado Minsaw and his nephew Nanda, he fought in nearly every campaign between 1552 and 1584 that rebuilt, expanded and defended the Toungoo Empire.

Minkhaung II is sometimes referred to as the basis for Taungoo Mingaung, one of the Thirty Seven Nats in the official pantheon of Burmese spirits although the actual basis may have been Minkhaung I of Toungoo.

Early life

He was born Zeya Nanda (ဇေယျနန္ဒ)[note 1] in the Toungoo Palace precincts to Mingyi Swe and the younger sister of Shin Myo Myat, royal household servants of Crown Prince Tabinshwehti.[1] He had an elder half-sister, Dhamma Dewi, three elder half-brothers, Bayinnaung and Minye Sithu, Thado Dhamma Yaza II and a younger full-brother Thado Minsaw.[1] He was likely born in the late 1520s since his younger brother Thado Minsaw was born in May 1531.[note 2] He grew up in the palace precincts, and received a military-style education there.[2]

Tabinshwehti era

Zeya Nanda came of age at a time when his native Toungoo was in the process of building the largest polity in Burma since the late 13th century. Although he probably joined his older brothers in Tabinshwehti's later military campaigns in the 1540s, he had not achieved a regimental commander status to be mentioned in the chronicles. His name does not appear in the commander lists down to the last campaigns of Tabinshwehti: Arakan (1545–47) and Siam (1547–1549).

At any rate, the king was apparently impressed by the young man's ability. When viceroy of Toungoo Mingyi Swe died in March 1549, the king named Zeya Nanda successor with the title of Thihathu (သီဟသူ).[3] Though it was a governorship, as opposed to a viceroyship, the appointment was still an impressive achievement for the young man as he was selected over his older and more experienced brothers Minye Sithu and Thado Dhamma Yaza II both of whom had been commanders since 1540, and over the objections of ministers concerned by handing over the ancestral home of the dynasty to a relatively inexperienced youngster. The ministers actually recommended Bayinnaung but the king rejected, saying that Bayinnaung was already his heir-apparent.[4]

Bayinnaung era

In rebellion

Now styled as Thihathu, he remained Tabinshwehti's favorite. In January/February 1550 (Tabodwe 911 ME), the king entrusted him to administer Pegu (Bago) while he went on a months-long hunting trip and Bayinnaung was on the campaign in the Irrawaddy delta to suppress a rebellion.[5] Three months into his stay at Pegu, he received word that the king had been assassinated. Although Tabinshwehti had chosen Bayinnaung as his successor since 1542, governors and viceroys of major regions all declared themselves king. Thihathu was no exception. He immediately returned to Toungoo and declared himself king with the title of Minkhaung (မင်းခေါင်).[6]

But all his other brothers remained loyal to their eldest brother. In September 1550, Bayinnaung's forces (9600 men, 200 horses, 20 elephants, 200 war boats) laid siege to Toungoo. Minkhaung resisted for four months but finally surrendered on 11 January 1551.[7] Remarkably, Bayinnaung forgave his brother, saying that their father had wanted all the brothers to remain united like the five fingers of the hand.[8]

In Bayinnaung's service

Minkhaung was overcome by Bayinnaung's pardon, and proved to be a loyal brother and an effective military commander for the rest of their lives. He immediately redeemed himself by leading the successful attack on Prome (Pyay) on 30 August 1551. He is said to have led the charge on the city walls, rammed his war elephant through the badly damaged massive wooden doors of the main gate, entered the city.[9]

The following is a list of campaigns he participated in during the reign of Bayinnaung. (He did not participate in Manipur in 1560[10] or Mohnyin/Mogaung in 1571.[11])

Campaign Duration Troops commanded Notes
Prome 1551 1 regiment Led the charge that broke through the defenses on 30 August 1551[12]
Hanthawaddy 1552 1 regiment Served under his younger brother Thado Minsaw who commanded the army group. Did not see any action. Was not part of the armies that followed Smim Htaw to the Irrawaddy delta[13]
Ava 1554–1555 7 regiments Led a vanguard army that invaded Ava via Yamethin from the right flank while Thado Minsaw led another army that invaded via Pintale from the center.[14] The two armies drove back Avan defenses into the city walls.[15] After Ava fell, the two armies by Minkhaung and Thado Minsaw followed up on the armies of Mohnyin, Mogaung, and Kale in the Mu valley and defeated them there.[16]
Shan states 1557 an army Led an army. Along with Thado Minsaw's and Nanda's army, his army converged on to Thibaw, part of a three-pronged attack.[17] Led a rearguard army to the march to Mohnyin and Mogaung.[18]
Mone 1557 8000 Led an army but did not see any action. Thado Dhamma Yaza II's vanguard army took Mone.[19]
Lan Na 1558 10 regiments Led the rearguard army, following Bayinnaung's central army and three vanguard armies led by Thado Dhamma Yaza II, Thado Minsaw, and Nanda.[20]
Trans-Salween Chinese Shan states 1563 12,000 Led one of the four armies that invaded the trans-Salween states. His army invaded from Thibaw.[21]
Siam 1563–1564 14,000 He and Nanda jointly-attacked and conquered Sukhothai in December 1563. Attacked the fort defending Ayutthaya.[note 3]
Lan Na 1564 12,000 One of four armies that marched to Chiang Mai from Ayutthaya. From Chiang Mai, marched to Chiang Saen and secured allegiance there.[22]
Siam 1568–1569 11,000 Led one of the five armies that invaded Siam.[23]
Lan Xang 1569–1570 11,000 Led of one of the three armies that invaded Lan Xang from the middle. His army consisted of 11 regiments along with Bayinnaung's main army. Took Vientiane in February 1570.[24]
Lan Xang 1574 11,000 Led one of four armies, which took Lan Xang without a fight.[25]
Mohnyin and Mogaung 1575–1576 an army His army did not see any action.[26]

He was appointed viceroy of Toungoo on 6 June 1552 (Monday, 14th waxing of Waso 914 ME).[27]

He built the Toungoo gate of Pegu (Bago) when the capital was rebuilt between 1565 and 1568. (Each of the twenty gates of the new capital was built by key vassal rulers.[28]) For their loyal service, Thado Dhamma Yaza II, Minkhaung II and Thado Minsaw were all honored by their brother the king on 3 March 1580.[29]

Nanda era

Bayinnaung died on 10 October 1581, and was succeeded by his son Nanda. The new king faced an impossible task of maintaining an empire ruled by autonomous viceroys who were loyal to Bayinnaung, not the kingdom of Toungoo. In June 1583, Thado Minsaw, the viceroy of Ava, sent secret embassies to Prome, Toungoo and Chiang Mai to launch a simultaneous revolt against Nanda. Minkhaung II and the other viceroys sided with Nanda.[30][31] When Nanda marched to Ava in March 1584, he along with the rulers of Prome and Chiang Mai also marched to Ava.[32] Ava turned out to be Minkhaung's last campaign. He died in June 1584.[33] He was succeeded by his eldest son styled as Minye Thihathu II of Toungoo.[34]


His chief queen was Laygyun Mibaya, a daughter of King Bayin Htwe of Prome. They were married in 1545 at the coronation ceremony of Tabinshwehti at the Pegu Palace.[35] The couple had five children (two sons and three daughters). They were:[34]

  1. Minye Thihathu II, King of Toungoo (1597–1609)
  2. Thado Dhamma Yaza, Gov. of Kawliya
  3. Min Phyu of Toungoo, Queen of the Southern Palace of Burma (1583–96)
  4. Thiri Yaza Dewi, Queen of the Northern Palace of Burma (1583–99)
  5. Min Htwe, Queen of the Central Palace of Burma (1583–99)

He also had a daughter by a concubine.[34]

In popular culture

Taungoo Mingaung nat

Minkhaung II has been referred to as the basis for the Taungoo Mingaung nat, one of the Thirty Seven Nats in the official pantheon.[36] Based on the nature of his death, however, Minkhaung II, who died of natural causes, may not be the basis. On the other hand, Minkhaung I (r. 1446–51) was brutally assassinated.[37] Given that death from violent murders is one of the main criteria for being inducted into the pantheon, Minkhaung I is probably the basis for the nat.


  1. ^ Chronicles are inconsistent with the name Zeya Nanda. Maha Yazawin (Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 172) and Hmannan Yazawin (Hmannan Vol. 2 2003: 226) both say Zeya Nanda (later Minkhaung II) was married to Laygyun Mibaya in 1545. But later, chronicles (Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 201) and (Hmannan Vol. 2 2003: 264) referred to the man later known as Thado Minsaw of Ava as Zeya Nanda.
  2. ^ (Zata 1960: 79): Thado Minsaw was born on Saturday, 5th waxing of Nayon 893 ME (20 May 1531).
  3. ^ (Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 267, footnote #1): Maha Yazawin does not mention him in the commander list although it does mention later. Both Yazawin Thit and Hmannan Yazawin (Hmannan Vol. 2 2003: 348) do.


  1. ^ a b Sein Lwin Lay 2006: 247–248
  2. ^ Sein Lwin Lay 2006: 109
  3. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 194
  4. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 149, 194
  5. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 196
  6. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 197
  7. ^ (Maha Yazawin 2006: 201): Sunday, 5th waxing of Tabodwe 912 ME = 11 January 1551
  8. ^ Sein Lwin Lay 2006: 258–259
  9. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 204
  10. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 256–257
  11. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 336–338
  12. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 203–204
  13. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 205–210
  14. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 217–218
  15. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 220–221
  16. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 223–224
  17. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 230, 233–234
  18. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 230, 237–239
  19. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 241–242
  20. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 243–244
  21. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 261–262
  22. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 277–279
  23. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 309
  24. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 327–329
  25. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 3 2006: 39–40
  26. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 3 2006: 46–47
  27. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 210
  28. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 295
  29. ^ (Maha Yazawin Vol. 3 2006: 69): Thursday, 4th waning of Tabaung 941 ME = 3 March 1580
  30. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 3 2006: 79
  31. ^ Htin Aung 1967: 129
  32. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 3 2006: 80
  33. ^ (Maha Yazawin Vol. 3 2006: 83): Waso 946 ME = 8 June 1584 to 6 July 1584
  34. ^ a b c Maha Yazawin Vol. 3 2006: 83
  35. ^ Maha Yazawin Vol. 2 2006: 172
  36. ^ Hla Thamein, No. 35 Shin Mingaung of Taungoo
  37. ^ Sein Lwin Lay 2006: 32–33


  • Hla Thamein. "Thirty-Seven Nats". Yangonow. Archived from the original on 2006-06-24. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  • Htin Aung, Maung (1967). A History of Burma. New York and London: Cambridge University Press.
  • Kala, U (1724). Maha Yazawin (in Burmese). 1–3 (2006, 4th printing ed.). Yangon: Ya-Pyei Publishing.
  • Royal Historians of Burma (c. 1680). U Hla Tin (Hla Thamein) (ed.). Zatadawbon Yazawin (1960 ed.). Historical Research Directorate of the Union of Burma.
  • Royal Historical Commission of Burma (1832). Hmannan Yazawin (in Burmese). 1–3 (2003 ed.). Yangon: Ministry of Information, Myanmar.
  • Sein Lwin Lay, Kahtika U (1968). Mintaya Shwe Hti and Bayinnaung: Ketumadi Taungoo Yazawin (in Burmese) (2006, 2nd printing ed.). Yangon: Yan Aung Sarpay.
Minkhaung II of Toungoo
Born: c. 1520s Died: June 1584
Royal titles
Preceded by
Mingyi Swe
Viceroy of Toungoo
March 1549 – 30 April 1550
6 June 1552 – June 1584
Succeeded by
Minye Thihathu II
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