Inwa Mandalay Myanmar

Inwa is formerly known as  Ava and which is the most important Burmese capital of all ancient cities .

History in brief

Founded in 1364, Ava (Inwa) was the successor state to earlier, even smaller kingdoms based in central Burma: Toungoo (1287–1322), Myinsaing–Pinya (1297–1364), and Sagaing (1315–1364). The kingdom was founded by Thadominbya in 1364, following the collapse of Sagaing and Pinya kingdoms due to the Shan raids from the north. In its first years of existence, Ava, which viewed itself as the rightful successor to the Pagan Empire, tried to reassemble the former empire by waging constant wars against the Hanthawaddy Kingdom in the south, various Shan States in the north and east, and Arakan in the west. While it was able to pull Toungoo and peripheral Shan states (Kale, Mohnyin, Mogaung, Thibaw) into its fold at the peak of its power, it failed to reconquer the rest. The Forty Years’ War (1385–1424) with Hanthawaddy left Ava exhausted. From the 1420s to early 1480s, Ava regularly faced rebellions in its vassal regions whenever a new Ava king came to power. In the 1480s and 1490s Prome in the south and Shan states in the north broke away, and Toungoo became as powerful as its nominal overlord Ava. In 1510, Toungoo also broke away.

Ava was under intensified Shan raids for the first quarter of 16th century. In 1527, a confederation of Shan States led by the state of Mohnyin in alliance with Prome sacked Ava. The Shan confederation placed nominal kings on the Ava throne, and ruled much of Upper Burma. As Prome was in alliance with the Shans, only the tiny Toungoo in the southeastern corner east of the Bago Yoma mountain range remained as the last Burman holdout. The Shans’ failure to snuff out Toungoo proved costly. Surrounded by hostile kingdoms, Toungoo took the initiative to consolidate its position, and defeated a much stronger Hanthawaddy in 1539. When Toungoo turned to Prome, the Shans belatedly sent in their armies. Toungoo took Prome in 1541 and Pagan, just below Ava in 1544. In January 1555, King Bayinnaung conquered Ava, ending the city’s role as the capital of Upper Burma for nearly two centuries.

Ava did not officially become a capitol of the Burmese kingdom until1636 and it was not until the period between 1597 and 1626 that it controlled the major part of Burma. None the less, the capitol was repeatedly established there and until modern times Burma was often referred to by the outside world as Ava. Its official name was Ratanapura, the City of Gems, and several foreign visitors have written of its wealth and splendor. Ava was almost completely destroyed by earthquake in 1838, and was finally abandoned in 1841 when King Shwebo Min moved the capitol a short distance east to Amarapura.


Reason to go to Inwa

Inwa is located around 20 kilometres away from Mandalay and most people come here for a day trip as you can easily enjoy the centre and the main sights in a few hours.Highlights in Inwa include the Ancient Bagaya Wooden  Monastery , Maha Aungmye BonzanMonastery and Nanmyint Watch Tower which is another one of the iconic structures for which Inwa is famous.

The best time to go to Inwa

November to December is the best months to visit because of the pleasant weather . But temperature between January to April is very hot and dusty . Rainy season last from July to October but it can rain everyday .

The best place to eat in Inwa

There are no so many local restaurants in Inwa except the usual street foods .If  you are looking for good restaurant in Inwa –please  then consider Small River Restaurant which is conveniently located close to the main jetty and serves a mix of international fare and some Burmese dishes. It also has some toothsome vegetarian curries for those who don’t eat meat and most dishes are priced at around MMK 2,500-8,000.

How to get around Inwa

Inwa is quite large . So it is not possible to walk around on foot . The best option to do sightseeing around Inwa is to hire a horse cart . Taking horse cart will cost around 12,000 kyats and horse cart driver will take you on a two hours trip of the main highlights of Inwa .Alternatively you can also hire a motorbike taxi which will do the same circuit but is slightly less scenic.