Inwa is the most famous ancient capital of Burma. A visit to Inwa will plunge you into the rich history of the city and witness the greatness of the Burmese civilization.
Inwa, located in the center of Burma, is perhaps today the most famous old capital of the country. The city was founded in the 14th century and had held the role of the political center of the country for more than 400 years. Today, it is a small rural town that has preserved the ruins of its prestigious past. A visit to Inwa will plunge you into the rich history of the city, getting you the hustle and bustle atmosphere of Mandalay.
1. How to get to Inwa
To organize your stay in Inwa, you will have to use ingenuity. Indeed, compared to other cities, it is quite difficult to access. Most people choose to take a trip from Mandalay to Inwa in the course of the day.
For the adventurous souls, you can rent a motorcycle in Mandalay to make the journey yourself. It will cost you 15USD a day.
As far as guided tours are concerned, they are generally organized in a tour through Inwa, Amarapura and Sagaing. Starting at 9:00 am from your hotel, the car will drop you there in the evening around 17:00. This costs you about 20USD.
You can also reach the city by taxi from Mandalay, for 15USD to a round-trip journey.
To go around the town, most visitors choose a horse-drawn carriage ride, costing about US $ 2 per person. Walking is hardly feasible because of long distances between sites and hot weather.
2. What to do in Inwa?
Inwa has succeeded in admirably preserving the ruins of the ancient capital, which today constitute the main tourist attractions of the city. Uou will have to pay a fee of 7.5USD to visit the ancient city during your tour in Burma.
The most impressive place is a monastery, built by King Maha Aung Mye Bonzan in the 19th century. As the most beautiful architecture of the Konbaung period, he borrowed the style from old wooden monasteries with a prayer hall whose structure has seven levels. In the vicinity of the monastery, you will find stupas and even see the hills of Sagaing. To cool your after the visit, you will find small tea rooms around the monument, and even a restaurant.
Continue your visit in Inwa with the Bagaya Monastery, dating from the 16th century. A visit to this monastery will make you discover the know-how of the artisans over the time, thanks to the splendid ornaments. An immense monument made mostly of teak; its surface is carved with motifs of flowers, birds and other animals. As a true museum of arts, the Bagaya monastery will amaze you with its architectural richness.
During your Inwa tour, do not forget to visit the Nan Myint Guard Tower. You will not be able to reach its summit because of being not good in its wooden staircase while the outside remains exceptional. As one of the symbols of Burmese architecture of the 19th century, this watchtower is only the vestige of the palace that was there.
During your tour in Burma, a visit to Inwa will plunge you into a mysterious past. As you walk in the ruins and the relics of the ancient capital, you can witness the greatness of the Burmese civilization.