Your base for exploring this tourist attraction is the heritage city of Mandalay. For travel information about Mandalay, go to Mandalay Travel Guide. To prepare for a trip to Myanmar, read also the Myanmar Travel Guide. Looking for budget accommodation there? Use AsiaExplorers Budget Accommodation Guide, the no-frills website to cover your budget accommodation needs.
Amarapura is an ancient city in Myanmar that was build by King Bodawpaya in 1782. Located 12 km south of Mandalay, it is the youngest of the many royal cities near Mandalay. It was the custom at that time for a new king to move the capital to a new site whenever he ascends to the throne. In the case of Amarapura, the capital was transfered from Inwa (Ava). The name Amarapura means "city of immortality". However the people of Mandalay, simply calls it Taungmyo, meaning "southern city" or Myohaung, or "Old City".
U Bein Bridge, Amarapura.
Amarapura was founded according to the advice of court astrologers, the Manipurian Brahmans, who were concerned about the circumstances surrounding Bodawpaya's ascendency to the throne. A power struggle has culminated with the massacre of the village of Paungga near Sagaing. The Brahmans believed that the only way to prevent further misfortune was to transfer the capital. Hence the entire population of Inwa was ordered to pack up their belongings and migrate to the land given to them around the new Amarapura palace.
Today, Amarapura is well known as a centre of weaving. Over ten thousand of its inhabitants are involved in this trade, and they produce some of Myanmar's finest festive clothing.
Tim's Amarapura Travelogue, 23 November, 2003
At Amarapura our tour guide Henry took us to a weaving workshop where I bought my Shan shirts. I have seen Henry wearing it, and had pestered him to bring me somewhere where I can get something similar.
To the south of Amarapura lies Lake Taungthaman, an intermittent body of water that recedes and dries up in winter, leaves rich, arable land. Spanning this lake is the 1.2km U Bein Bridge, constructed by King Bodawpaya using teak brought over from Inwa when he moved the capital northwards to Amarapura.
Amarapura is just about half an hour from Mandalay. You can visit it as a day trip. Arrange with a travel agent in Mandalay or rent a car or even horse carriage to take you there.
Mandalay and its surroundings
Mandalay was the capital of the old Burmese kingdom. There are lots of sights within Mandalay as well as in the cities nearby that are worth visiting. Click enter to view.