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AVA, the ancient capital of the Burman empire, now a subdivision of the Sagaing district in the Sagaing division of Upper Burma. It is situated on the Irrawaddy on the opposite [v.03 p.0051]bank to Sagaing, with which it was amalgamated in 1889. Amarapura, another ancient capital, lies 5 m. to the north-east of Ava, and Mandalay, the present capital, 6 m. to the north. The classical name of Ava is Yadanapura, "the city of precious gems." It was founded by Thadomin Payā in A.D. 1364 as successor to Pagan, and the religious buildings of Pagan were to a certain extent reproduced here, although on nothing like the same scale as regards either size or splendour. It remained the seat of government for about four centuries with a succession of thirty Kings. In 1782 a new capital, Amarapura, was founded by Bodaw Payā, but was deserted again in favour of Ava by King Baggidaw in 1823. On his deposition by King Tharawaddi in 1837, the capital reverted to Amarapura; but finally in 1860 the last capital of Mandalay was occupied by King Mindōn. For picturesque beauty Ava is unequalled in Burma, but it is now more like a park than the site of an old capital. Traces of the great council chamber and various portions of the royal palace are still visible, but otherwise the secular buildings are completely destroyed; and most of the religious edifices are also dilapidated.
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