Inwa (Ava)

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Called Ava by the British, Inwa served as the Burmese capital for longer than any other city – over six centuries in all – and retains evocative temples, stupas, and monasteries, the finest of them being Konbaung structures of the early 1800s. The crumbling edifices occupy a spit of land protected by fortified walls, moats, and earthworks in the south and west, by the Myitnge River in the east, and by the Ayeyarwady in the north – this gave rise to the site’s name, which means “Mouth of the Lake.” A massive earthquake in 1839 left the city and its structures in ruins, after which King Tharrawaddy shifted the court to Amarapura. While it is possible to travel to Inwa by road, most visitors arrive by ferry, transfer ring to a horse cart for a tour of the monuments.

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