Ava (Inwa) Period

   Following the collapse of the Pagan (Bagan) Dynasty at the beginning of the 14th century, central or Upper Burma was in a state of great upheaval as Shans (Tai) from what are now Yunnan Province in China and Burma's Shan State invaded the valleys of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) and Chindwin (Chindwinn) Rivers. Between 1298 and 1364, they established royal capitals at Myinsaing, Pinya, and Sagaing. In 1364, the Burman (Bamar) King Thadominbya (r. 1364-1368) established a new capital at Ava (Inwa), southwest of modern Mandalay on the east bank of the Irrawaddy. A canal was dug to make the city a more easily defensible island, and its proximity to the irrigated rice fields of Kyaukse gave it a great economic advantage. Thadominbya's successors emphasized their connections with the long-departed greatness of Pagan.
   Although kings ruled at Ava for almost two centuries (until 1555, when the city was conquered by King Bayinnaung), the period is generally regarded as a tumultuous interregnum between the collapse of the "First Burman Empire" at Pagan (Bagan) and the establishment of the "Second Burman Empire" by the rulers of the Toungoo Dynasty. During this period, no ruler succeeded in unifying the entire country. In Lower Burma, the Mon dynasty established by Wareru enjoyed a golden age in the 15th century, Arakan (Rakhine) reached its pinnacle under King Min Bin in the 16th century, while Toungoo emerged as an independent Burman power center. The warlike Shans remained a constant threat to Ava, as did repeated interventions by the Chinese across the Salween (Thanlwin) River during the Yuan and early Ming dynasties. In 1527, Ava fell to Thohanbwa, a Shan sawbwa, who wreaked great devastation and is remembered by Burmans today as a kind of Attila the Hun. He and other Shans ruled there until 1555.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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