The Ayeyarwaddy River or Irrawaddy River is a river that flows through Burma (Myanmar). It is Myanmar’s largest river (about 1350 miles or 2170 km long) and its most important commercial waterway, with a drainage area of about 158,700 square miles (411,000 km²).
Temporary farming settlements on islands of Ayeyarwady River TheAyeyarwaddy River starts in Kachin State, at the confluence of the MaliHka and N’MaiHka rivers. The western MaliHka branch arises from the end of the southern Himalayas, north of Putao, and (like the main river) is called Nam Kiu in the Shan language.
The Ayeyarwaddy River bisects the country from north to south and empties through a nine armed delta into the Indian Ocean. In colonial times, before railways and automobiles, the river was known as the “Road to Mandalay”. Although navigable by large vessels to Myitkyina for a distance over 1600 km from the ocean, the river is also full of sandbanks and islands, making such navigation difficult. For many years, the only bridge built to cross the Ayeyarwady River was the Inwa Bridge.
The name “Ayeyarwady” is believed to have derived from the Sanskrit term “airavati”, meaning “elephant river”.
The Irrawaddy gives its name to a dolphin, the Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaellabrevistosus), which is found in the river. Though sometimes called the Irrawaddy River Dolphin, it is not a true river dolphin, since it is also found at sea.
Tagaung is a town in Mandalay Region of Myanmar. It is situated on the east bank of the Ayeyarwady River, 127 miles north of Mandalay. We explore by foot the ancient city of Tagaung viewing the fortifications, the shrine of Bo BoGyi a famous nat or spirit who protects sailors plying the river, and the archaeological area. In the evening we climb the Pagoda Hill at Tigyang with its stunning views of the Irrawaddy..
Kyaukmyaung is a town in Sagaing Division, Myanmar. It is situated 46 miles north of Mandalay on the west bank of the River Irrawaddy, and 17 miles east of Shwebo by road. It marks the end of the third defile of the Irrawaddy. We can visit at the spectacular potteries near Kyauk-myoung where the famous 50 gallon water pots are hand made. We see all stages of manufacture from the throwing of the pots to the week long firing in huge kilns..
Yandabo is a very small rural village that specialises in pot making. We visit the Pandaw School and the new dispensary both built with past donations from Pandaw passengers. And visit to Yandapo Village with a small rural village that is well known for a treaty signed here between the British and Burmese in 1826. Now the village is famous for its handmade terracotta pots produced in traditional ways.
Sagaing is the capital of Sagaing Region in Myanmar. Located on the Ayeyarwady River, 20 km to the southwest of Mandalay on the opposite bank of the river, Sagaing with numerous Buddhist monasteries is an important religious and monastic center.
Mingun Pagoda and Bell
Mingun is a town in Sagaing Region, northwest Myanmar, located 11 km up the Ayeyarwady River on the west bank from Mandalay. Its main attraction is the ruined MingunPahtodawgyi. We can visit to see the largest working bell in the world and the unfinished pagoda, that is the largest single mass of brick building in the world. We also visit the Mingun Old Peoples Home originally established with the assistance of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1930s.