Photo: Bagaya Kyaung monastery.

Inwa (Ava)

Our rating:


Between the decline of Bagan in the 14th century and the founding of Mandalay in the mid-19th, the city of Inwa, locally known as Ava, was the political centre of Burma. Today the evocative site consists of ancient temples and stupas in varying states of decay scattered across a rustic setting of farmland and villages. It makes for a scenic and atmospheric area to explore.

Help us hold our breath. Donate to Travelfish today!
Click here for more information on how you can help.

Initially ruled by Shan lords, a Prince Thadominphya is said to have founded Inwa in 1364 at the confluence of the Myint Nge and Ayeyarwaddy Rivers. He then set about improving defences by constructing massive walls on the south and west land sides of the city and digging a wide moat alongside connecting the two rivers, thus creating an island.


Despite the excellent position, the capital still shifted locations on five separate occasions, incuding to Amarapura, Mingun and Sagaing, before returning each time to Inwa. In 1838, a series of earthquakes damaged most of the city and led King Tharrawaddy to move the palace away from Inwa, once ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 800 words.)

Get the full story.
Create an account.

Join Travelfish

Log in

Becoming a Travelfish subscriber costs A$35 for a year. Benefits include:
1) Full access to the site
2) 250+ PDF guides
3) Discount coupons
4) 50% off our travel planning service
5) And of course, our gratitude and a warm fuzzy feeling for helping us stay in business!

Popular attractions in Mandalay

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Mandalay.

Best places to stay in Mandalay

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Mandalay.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Mandalay.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Mandalay.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Mandalay.
 Read up on how to get to Mandalay.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Mandalay? Please read this.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

See below for more sights and activities in Mandalay that are listed on

Top of page

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Mandalay? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Burma_myanmar.

Top of page