- A term used by the British in the 19th and early 20th centuries to refer to those territories ruled by the Konbaung Dynasty until the Third Anglo-Burmese War (1885). Upper Burma was sometimes referred to as "Ava," the name of a royal capital. It includes present-day Mandalay, Magwe (Magway), and Sagaing Divisions, and its chief urban center is Mandalay, Burma's last royal capital. It is bisected by the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River, traditionally the main artery of transportation. Like Lower Burma, Upper Burma has a strong geographic and historical identity. Largely isolated from the outside world by mountain ranges that separate it from China, India, and Thailand, it is the home of the Burmans (Bamars) and is relatively homogeneous ethnically. Except for irrigated areas, such as Kyaukse, its agricultural potential has been limited by lack of water. During the colonial era, both regions constituted Burma Proper, in contrast to the Frontier Areas.
Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Donald M. Seekins . 2014.
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