Inwa, formerly Ava, translated as ‘City of Gems’, is the ancient capital of the former kingdom of Ava in upper Myanmar. It is located about 6.5 km southwest of Amarapura and 20 km southwest of Mandalay, at the confluence of the Irrawaddy with the Mjitnge. The Myittha Canal connects the two rivers on the south side and makes Inwa an island.
After the capital Sagaing had been conquered by the Shan, Ava was founded in 1364 and was until 1783 capital of the empire Ava. Ava was first ruled by a dynasty of Burmeseized Shan, became the dominant power in Upper Burma and claimed to bring the entire territory of the ancient Bagan empire under its control.
Many of the city’s buildings were destroyed in an earthquake, yet Ava has retained its charm. The island of Inwa sits peacefully and secluded in the landscape. When you arrive by boat or ferry, you immediately dive into the atmosphere of Inwa. Today, the city is a popular and yet not crowded destination with its own charm and some worth seeing buildings. Especially the ‘Leaning Tower of Inwa’, the Maha Aung Mya Bonzan Monastery and the Bagaya Monastery should not be missed on a visit to Inwa.