Amarapura

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Amarapura
အမရပူရ မြို့နယ်
Township of Mandalay
Amarapura Township
Skyline of Amarapura
Amarapura is located in Burma
Amarapura
Amarapura
Location in Burma
Coordinates: 21°54′N 96°03′E / 21.900°N 96.050°E / 21.900; 96.050
Country Myanmar
Region Mandalay
City Mandalay
Township Amarapura Township
Founded 13 May 1783
Time zone MST (UTC6:30)
Area code(s) 2 (mobile: 69, 90)[1]

Amarapura (Burmese: အမရပူရ, pronounced: [ʔəməɹa̰pùɹa̰]) is a former capital of Myanmar, and now a township of Mandalay. Amarapura is bounded by the Irrawaddy river in the west, Chanmyathazi township in the north, and the ancient capital site of Ava (Inwa) in the south. It was the capital of Myanmar twice during the Konbaung period (1783–1821 and 1842–1859) before finally being supplanted by Mandalay 11 km north in 1859. It is historically referred to as Taungmyo (Southern City) in relation to Mandalay. Amarapura today is part of Mandalay, as a result of urban sprawl. The township is known today for its traditional silk and cotton weaving, and bronze casting. It is a popular tourist day-trip destination from Mandalay.

Etymology[edit]

Amarapura comes from Pali: आमरपुर, which means "City of Immortality".

History[edit]

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

Amarapura was founded by King Bodawpaya of the Konbaung Dynasty. He founded Amarapura as his new capital in May 1783.[2] The new capital became a center of Buddhist reforms and learning. In 1800, Buddhist clergy from Sri Lanka obtained higher ordination in this city and founded the Amarapura Nikaya (Amarapura sect).[3]

Bodawpaya's grandson, King Bagyidaw moved the Court back to Ava in November 1821.[4] Bagyidaw's successor King Tharrawaddy again moved the royal capital back to Amarapura in February 1842.[5] In February 1857, King Mindon began building Mandalay as his new capital city, 11 km north of Amarapura. With the royal treasury depleted by the Second Anglo-Burmese War of 1852, Mindon decided to reuse as much material from Amarapura as possible in the construction of Mandalay. The palace buildings were dismantled and moved by elephant to the new location, and the city walls were pulled down for use as building material for roads and railways.[6] Part of the moat is still recognizable near the Bagaya Monastery. The city officially ceased being the capital on 23 May 1859 when Mandalay took over that role.[7]

Sights of interest[edit]

  • Pahtodawgyi – A stupa built by King Bodawpaya in 1816 outside the city walls
  • Bagaya Kyaung – a wooden monastery founded by King Mindon
  • U Bein Bridge – a 1.2 km wooden footbridge (longest teak bridge in the world) built by the mayor U Bein salvaging the unwanted teak columns from the old palace during the move to Mandalay
  • Kyautawgyi Paya – A stupa built by King Pagan in 1847 at the farther end of U Bein's bridge
  • Amarapura Palace ruins – containing tombs of King Bodawpaya and King Bagyidaw, and part of the old moat
  • Maha Gandhayon Kyaung - a large modern monastery complex with hundreds of monks and novices, well known throughout the country
  • Chinese Temple - built in 1838 during King Tharrawaddy's reign
  • Yadanabon University - A major liberal arts university for students from Mandalay suburbs

Photos[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Myanmar Area Codes". 
  2. ^ Maung Maung Tin Vol. 1 1905: 395
  3. ^ Bischoff 1995: 113
  4. ^ Maung Maung Tin Vol. 2 1905: 223
  5. ^ Maung Maung Tin Vol. 3 1905: 33
  6. ^ Cooler, Konbaung Amarapura
  7. ^ Maung Maung Tin Vol. 3 1905: 193

References[edit]

  • Bischoff, Roger (1995). Buddhism in Myanmar - A Short History. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society. 
  • Cooler, Richard M. "The Konbaung Period - Amarapura". Northern Illinois University. Archived from the original on 16 June 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-09. 
  • Maung Maung Tin (1905). Konbaung Hset Maha Yazawin (in Burmese) 1–3 (2004 ed.). Yangon: Department of Universities History Research, University of Yangon. 

External links[edit]

Amarapura
Preceded by
Ava
Capital of Burma
13 May 1783 – 22 November 1821
Succeeded by
Ava
Preceded by
Ava
Capital of Burma
10 February 1842 – 23 May 1859
Succeeded by
Mandalay

Coordinates: 21°54′N 96°03′E / 21.900°N 96.050°E / 21.900; 96.050