Inwa, formerly known as Ava is located 21km from Mandalay. Inwa was also known as Yadana Pura and it was first founded as a capital by King Thado Minbya in 1364 A.D.It is an ancient city. Inwa is also situated at the confluence of the Ayeyarwady and Dokhtawadi rivers in Upper Myanmar. Inwa was destroyed by the earthquake of 1838.
The ancient capital city of Inwa is one of the ideal places to escape from the hustle and bustle life to step back in time and discover ancient heritages. Unlike many of the towns around Mandalay, Innwa is quite large and you can’t easily walk around on foot. This means that the best thing to do is to hire a horse and cart to get around from the main jetty. Many people come to Inwa as part of an organized day trip from neighbouring Mandalay and most people choose to stay in Mandalay and visit Innwa for the day. It has become one of the most popular attractions to visit in Myanmar tours. The most interesting places in Inwa are as follow.
Maha Aung Mye Bonzan
The Maha Aung Mye Bonzan, well known as Me Nu Oak-kyaung is a Brick Monastery and was built in 1822 by Nanmadaw Me Nu. She is the chief queen of the King Bagyidaw. It was also damaged by the earthquake of 1838 but was repaired by Hsinbyumashin, the daughter of Me Nu and she is a queen of Mindon. This monastery is one of the finest specimens of Myanmar architecture during the Konbaung Period 19th century. The architecture is in the simulation of wooden monasteries with multiple roofs and a prayer hall.
Bagaya Kyaung Monastery
The Bagaya monastery was built on the southwest of Inwa palace on 1593. The name Bargaya is a Mon word and it means Khayebin Kyaung. The Bagaya monastery is decorated with splendid Myanma architectural works. The site of the monastery is about 11 miles from the Mandalay City. This 1834 teak monastery is Iowa’s most memorable individual attraction. The monastery has 267 teak posts. The largest teak post is 9 feet in circumference. The post is 60 feet high. The monastery is 118 feet long and 103 feet wide. It is decorated with intricate carvings, floral reliefs and other figures. The place is now used for housing and school for local children.
Nan Myint Tower or Watch Tower
Nan Myint Tower or the watchtower is a historical landmark in Inwa, Myanmar which is about 90 feet high is a building that remains of Bagyidaw’s palace built-in 1822. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1838 and only the lower part was left but it was restored as its original structure. This is one of the examples of Myanmar architectural style of the early 19th century.
The Htilaingshin Paya Pagoda is located just east of the Aungmye Bonzan Monastery. Htilaingshin Paya is a whitewashed pagoda complex, topped with the occasional gold-leafed stupa, dates back to the Bagan period.