Bago (bäˈgō) [key], formerly Pegu pĕgōˈ, city (1983 pop. 150,447), capital of Bago region, S Myanmar, on the Bago River. It is a port and railway junction. Founded c.825 by the Mons, it became their capital when King Binnya U established his palace there. Bago was the center of one of the three chief states of Myanmar from the 14th to the late 15th cent.; in the 16th cent. it was the capital of a united Burmese kingdom. After it was destroyed in 1564 and again in 1599, the Burmese moved their capital to Innwa (Ava). In the 18th cent. the Talaings rebelled against the Burmese and set up their capital at Bago; it was destroyed by the Burmese in 1757 but was later rebuilt as the center of a Burmese province. The city and province came under British rule in 1852. The city's religious monuments include many temples, of which the most impressive is the Shwemawdaw Pagoda, and a great statue (55 feet long) of a reclining Buddha, believed to have been built in 944.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.