Inwa

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innwa, Mandalay Region, Myanmar

The city of Inwa, known by the British as Ava, was founded in 1364 by King Thadominbya, and the ancient imperial city later became the capital of the Konbaung dynasty. It is strategically located where the Ayeyarwady and Myitnge rivers meet.

Unlike most of the other imperial cities, Inwa's walls are not straight but instead are shaped like a lion, although only one part remains on the north side. The inner city was remodelled multiple times and, in fact, Inwa has been destroyed and rebuilt many times over, but was finally abandoned in the mid-19th century.

A major earthquake in 1839 destroyed the city and left the region a mess. Everything was levelled, and the city was not rebuilt. Today, it is a popular tourist destination and an escape from the hustle of Mandalay. Visitors come to see the remnants of its former glory including the ruins of a monastery in a grassy field. Most visitors travel there from Mandalay by boat, and it is a short crossing. Rent bicycles for the day to most easily explore the sights.

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