Photo: Bagaya Kyaung monastery.

Inwa (Ava)

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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.

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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.

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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.)


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