Amarapura: An Ancient City of Immortality near Mandalay, Myanmar
Amarapura, means the City of Immortals, is a former capital of Myanmar, and now a township of Mandalay city that is worth you a day visiting on a Mandalay day trip. King Bodawpaya founded Amarapura after moving his capital from Innwa when he ascended the throne. His grandson and successor, King Bagyidaw, shifted his capital back to Innwa in 1823. But, after King Tharawaddy (1837-46) succeeded Bagyidaw, he took the capital back to Amarapura. After that, it remained the seat of Myanmar kings until King Mindon established a new capital in Mandalay.
U Bein Bridge: U Bein Bridge is crossing the Taung-tha-man Inn and has a length about three quarters of a mile. It is a popular attractive spot for tourists as it is the longest teak bridge in the world and is about two centuries old.
This bridge is called U Bein Bridge after the name of the donor, U Bein. He was a clerk to the Mayor of Amarapura. This bridge was constructed in 1849 using old planks and timber posts of dismantled houses in Sagaing and Inwa.
Kyauktawgyi Pagoda: King Bagan built the Kyauktawgyi Pagoda in 1847 on the model of the Ananda Temple at Bagan. It falls short of the latter in construction and interior decoration, although it closely resembles the Ananda in exterior form. But the perfect vaulted roofs with wooden rafters and beams which account for the weakness of the structure is not same with the Ananda. There is one principal image which is carved out of a single block of Sagyin marble.
Pahtodawgyi Pagoda: The Pahtodawgyi Pagoda modeled on the Mahazedi of Sri Lanka in the southern part of Amarapura. King Bagyidaw and his Queen laid the foundation of this pagoda on 2nd March 1820 and it was completed on 19th February 1824. The height measures 180 feet and the base also measures 180 feet in circumference. Maha Vijayaramsi is the official title of this pagoda. This pagoda stood outside the old city walls.
Shwe Gu Gyi Pagoda: On the west of the railways compound and between the wards Zay Cho and Hman Dan, a temple called Shwe Gu Gyi (Golden Big Cave) Pagoda is located. The height of the whole pagoda is 90 feet. There is Shwe Gu Tha which is also a cave temple on the south of the Shwe Gu Gyi but it has the best for paintings for interior decoration. Both temples are under the Archaeological Department care.
Palace Ruins: The old Amarapura palace remains only a little, but you can still find two masonry buildings which are the treasury building and the old watchtower. Both King Bagyidaw and King Bodawpaya were buried there and their tombs also remain. At the four corners of the once square city, the corner pagodas still stand.
Amarapura is well-known today for its traditional silk and cotton weaving, and bronze casting industry. Most Myanmar people are proud to attend the cultural ceremonies with Achiek Longyi, which is mainly produced from Amarapura.