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Ava

Name of an ancient kingdom in Myanmar, with its capital near present-day Mandalay and founded in 1364 AD by the Shan King Thadominbya, who reunified central Burma. It ruled upper Burma for nearly two centuries, until the beginning of 1555, when it was captured by the Taungoo King Bayinnaung (fig.), who incorporated it into his realm, which initially was formed by assembling formerly autonomous Irrawaddy-valley-based kingdoms, and eventually grew to become the Taungoo Empire. In Burmese, both the Ava Kingdom and its capital are known as Inwa. After the fall of the Ava Kingdom, Ava City became the capital of all Burma and remained in this position during the Toungoo and Konbaung periods, though it in these periods relocated several times at intervals to and from Pegu. Highlights within the city walls (map - fig.) include Nanmyin Watchtower, i.e. the Leaning Tower of Ava (fig.); the Royal Ritual Pond (map - fig.); the brick monastery Me Nu Oak-Kyaung (fig.); the White Temple known locally as Yattana Pontha (fig.); Ava's own Shwezigon Phaya (fig.); and the ancient city gates in the South (map - fig.), West (map - fig.) and East; while landmarks outside of the city walls include Daw Gyam Phaya Su (fig.); Yattana Shihmih (fig.); Inwa Archaeological Museum (map - fig.); the southwestern Sin Kyone Fortress (fig.) and the Tha Byae Tan Fortress (fig.), located to the north of Ava; Le Htat Gyi Phaya (fig.); Lawkataraphu Phaya Kyee (fig.); Mashi Khana Wih Mahla Phaya The Kyaung Taw (fig.), with its Buddha image seated on a naga, while performing a varada mudra with his right hand (fig.); the wooden monastery Bagaya Kyaung (map - fig.) with it's two pagodas (fig.) and a grove in the field beyond the compound with the freestanding Tawagu Pagoda; the Nine Queens' Pagodas (fig.) with a nearby freestanding white pagoda (fig.), as well as the four ancient south-westernmost brick monuments of Win Ga Bar (fig.); Myinmo Taung (map - fig.); Lawka Dotha Mahn Aung Pagoda (fig.) and Kyaung Lain Monastery (fig.), amongst others. Ava is officially known as Rattana Pura. See also Forty Years' War. See also MAP.