Amarapura

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amarapura

town, central Myanmar (Burma). It lies on the left bank of the Irrawaddy River. A suburb of Mandalay, it is also known as Taung-myo (Southern Town) or Myohaung (Old City). Founded by King Bodawpaya in 1783 as his new capital, it supplanted Ava, 6 miles (10 km) southwest. Its population in 1810 was estimated at 170,000, but a fire that year and the return of the court to Ava in 1823 caused a decline to about 30,000 by 1827. King Tharrawaddy (reigned 1837-46) restored Amarapura as the capital, but an earthquake in 1839 destroyed much of the city, which was finally abandoned for Mandalay by King Mindon Min in the late 1850s. Ruined walls indicate that Amarapura, called the "City of Immortals," was laid out as a square with sides 34 mile (1 km) long. A solid brick pagoda, 100 feet (30 m) high, stood at each corner of the walls; a celebrated temple with 250 pillars of gilt wood contained a colossal bronze statue of Buddha. The tombs of Bodawpaya and his successor, Bagyidaw, are in the city.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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