Innwa, or Ava before, is located to the south of Amarapura. It was the capital of Burma in the past for a couple of times over several centuries, the first time in the 14th century. Innwa was established in 1364 on an artificial island, bordering with the Irrawaddy river in the North and the Myitnge river to the East. When people dug a canal was on the West and South, the Innwa island was made. The island made it easier to defend against invasion attempts.
Innwa was sufferred a very destructive earthquake in 1838. What remains today include the Innwa moat, some fortress walls, entrance gates and the ruins of the Royal Palace. The Nam Myint watch tower of the Royal Palace is tilting, therefore it is well known as the Nam Myint leaning tower.
One of the most notable landmarks of Innwa is the Maha Aung Mye Bonzan monastery, also known as the Me Nu Brick Monastery, a richly decorated building dating back to 1818. A few hundred meters to the north, you will be confronted by the Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, built in 1834 during the reign of King Bagyidaw. The entirely teak wood made structure with 57 meters long and 32 meters wide is situated on 267 huge teak stilts. It is decorated with very striking wood carvings, floral motifs, animals and mythical figures. The highlight of the monastery is a small Buddha image seated inside on a large golden throne. Not too far from this stand the famous Yadana Labamuni Hsu-taung-pye Pagoda, Hmwe Paya or Snake Pagoda in Paleik. The pagoda houses 2 pythons which live happily around the Buddha statue.
Surrounded by the modern world, like Bagan, Mrauk U, Innwa is an ideal place to explore the archaeological values containing the rich legacy of traditions, spirituality and culture of ancient Burma.
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