- By Kyaw Htike Soe
Inwa Region is located at the confluence of the Ayeyawady River and Dokhtawady River about 2 miles and four furlongs north of TadaU Township and around 20 miles southwest of Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest cultural city.
Inwa is known for hosting several ancient heritages such as pagodas, monasteries, moats and Buddhist temples. According to Myanmar history, the InwaKingdom was established by King ThadoeMinbya in 726 Myanmar Era and was the capital city of successive Burmese dynasties for more than 400 years. According to historical evidence, the Inwa Kingdom was administered by 31 Burmese Kings during four dynasties.
Inwa City was rebuilt eight times by successive Burmese kings and architectural designs of the religious buildings, palaces, city’s wall, and spire-like roofs have been changed. There are five ancient pagodas decorated with mural paintings, seven ancient pagodas with stone inscriptions, three ancient pagodas with bronze bells and 624 ancient buildings.The number of local visitors to Inwa Region has significantly increased when compared to previous time.
“The number of local travelers to the Inwa Region has increased considerably during the public holidays. But, arrival of tourists slightly declined when compared to previous years.” said an official from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.He continued that he hopes Inwa Region will receive more visitors as the number of tourist arrivals to Myanmar is expected to reach almost 5 million in 2019. Here are some interesting places you should visit during your stay in Inwa Region.
Maha Aungmyay Bonzan Monastery
The Maha Aungmyay Bonzan Monastery is a unique architectural structure and is decorated with significant spiritual icons for the guests to see when they visit Inwa Region. The monastery was first constructed in 1818 by Me Nu, the primary Queen of King Bagyidaw, for the royal abbot Nyaungyan Sayadaw. The ancient brick structure is 192 ft. long, 112 ft. wide and 94 ft. high. It was extensively damaged in March 1839 by the series of earthquakes that struck Inwa and its surrounding areas, resulting in the monastery’s abandonment.
Since earthquake damage in Inwa was extensive so the King Bagyidaw moved the capital to nearby Amarapura, the monastery wasn’t completely forgotten. In 1873, it was restored by the Queen’s daughter named Hsin-byu-ma-shin who preserved the building in its original style and structure, according to the historical records.
The guests also shouldn’t miss to visit the Bagaya Monastery.The Bagaya Monastery was built in 1834 during the reign of the King Bagyidaw. The monastery has 267 massive posts of teak, the largest of which is 60 feet high and 9 feet in circumference. Its floors and walls are made of teak.There are plenty of pony-carts waiting to take you around the ancient capital city.