Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Amarapura (Burmese: အမရပူရ) is a former capital of Myanmar, and now a township of Mandalay. Amarapura is bounded by the Ayeyarwady river in the west, Chanmyathazi township in the north, and the city of Innwa (Ava) in the south. Amarapura, Pali for City of Immortality, was the capital of Myanmar for three discrete periods during the Konbaung dynasty in the 18th and 19th centuries before finally supplanted by Mandalay 11km north in 1857. Though historically referred to as Taungmyo (Southern City) in relation to Mandalay, Amarapura today is part of Mandalay, as a result of the urban sprawl.


Royal palace of king Bodawpaya at Amarapura, during the visit of the British Embassy of Michael Symes, in 1795.

King Bodawpaya (1781-1819) of the Konbaung Dynasty founded Amarapura as his new capital in 1783, soon after he ascended the throne. In 1795, he received the first British embassy to Burma from the British East India Company led by Michael Symes . Bodawpaya's grandson, King Bagyidaw (1819-1837), moved the Court back to Ava in 1823. Bagyidaw's successor King Tharrawaddy (1837-1846) again moved the royal capital back to Amarapura.

From 1841-1857, King Mindon (1853-1878) decided to make Amarapura the capital again before relocating to his planned city of Mandalay in 1860. Today little remains of the old city as the palace buildings were dismantled and moved by elephant to the new location, and the city walls were pulled down for use as building materials for roads and railways. Part of the moat is still recognisable near Bagaya Monastery.

The city is known today for its traditional silk and cotton weaving, and bronze casting. It is a popular tourist day-trip destination from Mandalay.


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