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Nanmyin or watch tower, [Ava].

Nanmyin or watch tower, [Ava].

Medium: Photographic print

Shelfmark: Photo 1004/2(515)

Item number: 515

Length: 20.1

Width: 14.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Nanmyin or watchtower of Ava (Inwa) in Burma (Myanmar), from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections: Burma Circle, 1907-13. The photograph was taken by an unknown photographer of the Burma Archaeological Survey.

Ava, located south-west of Amarapura at the confluence of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) and the Myitnge rivers, was founded in about 1365 as the third capital of the Shan rulers previously established at Pinya and Sagaing. For the most part of the next five centuries it remained the royal city until finally abandoned as capital in favour of Amarapura. Much of Ava including the 19th century palace of King Bagyidaw (ruled 1819-38) at its centre was destroyed in a disastrous earthquake in 1838. The Nanmyin is a square brick and stucco watchtower, tilting and surrounded by fallen masonry. It is all that remains of the palace, although the upper part of this 30 m high masonry tower was destroyed. The lower part leans to one side, earning it the nickname of 'the leaning tower of Ava'.

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