Parched at an elevation of 1320 meter above sea level, between Latitude 20.20.42 North and Longitude 96.26.23 East. Bordering Nyaung Shwe Township (Inle) in the east, Thazi Township (Mandalay Division) on the west, Pin Laung Township (Loikaw) in the South and Pindaya Township in the North. Fall in to mountainous area fill with many hills and valleys.
Kalaw used to be a small village under Nyaung Shwe Saophas (local ruler). After forming of The Burma Laws Act 1898 British kept Kalaw under Thar Mine Khan and kept as a major trading centre between mainland and Shan Hills. Due to its central location and template weather British built Kalaw town plan and declared as official Hill Station in 1895 just after forming Taunggyi in 1894.
Soon after built Taunggyi, the British took over Kalaw (was then called “Kalauk in Palaung language) from Thar Mine Khan (Myo Sar) Maung Boe and built in the proper town. In 1904 Kalaw (then with total area of (9.25 Sq Mile) was declared to be a “Special Administrative Area” which then became British Administrative Centre for all Shan Hills. Ever since Kalaw became hill station, population has been steady growth and since 1913 Kalaw has been administrated under “Town Committee” in which the British High Commissioner act as “President” and Kalaw Mayor act as “Vice President” and rest consists from other Civil Departmental, Society and local merchants.
During British colonial rule, the Saophas were generally allowed to stay in power, but between 1922 and 1935 they gradually ceded their authority to a democratically elected parliament. Today only the Palace of Nyaung Shwe, a few kilometres north of Inle Lake, is open to the public.