History of Amarapura

Amarapura comes from Pali which means "City of Immortality".


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 founded Amarapura as his new capital in May 1783. 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).

Bodawpaya's grandson, King Bagyidaw moved the Court back to Ava in November 1821. Bagyidaw's successor King Tharrawaddy again moved the royal capital back to Amarapura in February 1842. In February 1857, King Mindon began building a new capital city of Mandalay, 11 km north of Amarapura. With the royal treasury depleted by the Second Anglo-Burmese War of 1852, Mindon decided to reuse as much materials from Amarapura in 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 materials for roads and railways. 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