Hsin Gyone Fort near Mandalay

The entrance to the Hsin Gyone Fort, Innwa.

The entrance to the Hsin Gyone Fort, Innwa.

The following is the engraving on the stone epitaph “The fort, also called the Innwa Fort was built in 1874 A.D. during the reign of King Mindon, under the supervision of Crown Prince Kanaung, Minister U Kaung and minister U Pho Hliang, Lord of Yaw and with the assistance of Italian engineer Commotto. It forms a third in the triangle of three forts, the other two are Asay Gan fort (Sagaing Fort) on the western bank of the river Ayayarwaddy and Thabyaytan Fort on the eastern bank, a few miles below Amarapura. These forts were built to defend against the invaders via the river.” 

The first of three forts

This was the first of the three to be constructed in the vicinity of Mandalay. Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

The stone engraving giving the detail of the fort (text above)is interesting as it shows that danger to the crown was not just external but internal. The Crown Prince Kanaung referred to was actually assassinated in 1866 by two of king Mindon’s rebellious sons jealous of his position, and when their attempt to stage a coup failed they fled the British, who sent them to India ( in 1942 Col. Suzuki the Japanese commander of the  30 Comrades, which included  Aung San, claimed to be the son of one of these exiled princes- Prince Myingun).

The Konbaung Prince

The Konbaung Prince was Mindon’s brother and helped him take the throne in 1852 over their increasingly insane and cruel half brother Pagan Min.

The Konbaung Prince was highly intelligent and a great military man, so the date of the construction of the fort (1874) may indicate his plans even before his murder.  The Konbaung’s own son raised rebellion to assume his late father’s status, but was defeated and he was executed – a sad end to the son of Mindon’s closest brother and ally. The murder of the Konbaung Prince was responsible for Mindon never chosing his successor as he thought it put their lives in danger.

Right – and wrong

He was correct, but also wrong – the nearest he got to choosing a successor was on his death bed was to select three of his sons to rule different areas of the kingdom, which meant that when the weak willed Thibaw was pushed on the throne by Mindon’s Queen of the Middle Palace to secure her power, the whole of Mindon’s family were seen as a threat and 80 – 100 were murdered by royal executioners  in February 1889 – including the Lord of Yaw mentioned on the stone tablet who help supervise construction of this fort. .

Hsin Gyone Fort Plaque

Hsin Gyone Fort Plaque

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