Wednesday, 25 February 2015 03:33

8 kms from Amarapura is the 500-year capital of the Shans, known first as Ava and later as Inwa.  It is a centre of monasteries, pagodas and ancient ruins spread out over several miles shaded by boddhi trees, and accessible by horse-carts or cars.  


The capital was built on an artificial island in the 1300s by connecting the Ayeyarwaddy and Myitnge Rivers with a series of canals and dykes to relieve flooding and increase irrigation.  When a series of earthquakes in 1839 destroyed the city, the King decided not to rebuild and removed the capital to a new site inland at Mandalay Hill.


The Old Gate
The remnants of a massive brick wall which it is thought used to form the outline of a seated lion.


Nan Myint Tower
Originally a watch tower for fires or approaching enemies (closed to public), it is the only masonry building left of King Bagyidaw’s palace.  The earthquake in 1838 destroyed parts of the building and it was restored to its original structure.


Bargaya Teak Monastery
A magnificent wooden monastery supported by 267 teak posts, with outstanding examples of ancient carvings and bas-reliefs of birds and animals.


Le Htat Gyi Phaya (4 storey Pagoda)
This is remnants of what was once a huge pagoda.


Maha Aung Mye BonZan Monastery
Also known as the Brick Monastery, this was built by Nan Ma Daw Menu, the Chief Queen of King Bagyidaw in 1818. Its brick and stucco appearance is unusual in that most monasteries built at that time were built out of wood. It is still used as a monastery today.


Yadana Hsimi Pagodas
This is a group of ancient pagodas which were damaged by the earthquake.

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