Inwa (aka Ava, Innwa) is an Irrawaddy River cruise port in Myanmar (Burma). It was Burma's ancient imperial capital (between 14th-19th centuries). As capital city it was abandoned in 1839, after a series of devastating earthquakes. However, as Burma's former capital Inwa is a popular cruise tourist destination on itineraries leaving from Mandalay.
Inwa is located 21 km (13 mi) south of Mandalay, and on the way from Mandalay International Airport to Mandalay City. Have in mind that cars can go up to Myitnge River and crossing over to the former capital site takes a 3-minute boat ride. On Inwa side, several horse-drawn carts await tourist business.
Starting on March 22, 1839 Inwa-Amapura area was hit by a series of earthquakes. The capital city of Ava was hardest hit: everything was leveled and many people perished. However, the city was not rebuilt as King Tharrawaddy chose to rebuild a new palace in Amarapura. In February 1842 he moved the seat of the government there.
The former capital city site is a popular tourist day-trip destination from Mandalay. Tourists can still observe a few remnants of the capital, including Nanmadaw Me Nu Ok Kyaung, the Nanmyin Tower, the inner and outer brick city walls, etc.
The 16 span cantilever Ava Bridge was the only structure to span Irrawaddy River until recently. Although now superseded by another, parallel road bridge constructed in 2005, Ava Bridge is still in use for local road and railway traffic.
The site of the deserted Ava Palace is now marked by a masonry 27 m (89 ft) high watchtower, which is an example of early 19th cent. Burmese architecture. It is all that remained of the Palace reared by King Bagyidaw.