Inya Lake is an artificial lake created by the British as a water reservoir between 1882 and 1883 in order to provide a water supply to Yangon. The lake was formed by joining small hills that surrounded creeks which formed during the monsoon season. A series of pipes and cables distributes water from Inya Lake to Kandawgyi Lake near downtown Yangon.
The Second Far East Regional Scout Conference was hosted by the University of Rangoon in 1960, with the First Far East Professional Scouters Training Conference held at Inyale Camp on Inya Lake as an ancillary event.
On 16 March 1988, following the killing of two students during the pro-democracy demonstrations, students marching on Prome Road (now Pyay Road) were confronted near Inya Lake by the Lon Htein security force riot police and many beaten to death or drowned.
On 4 May 2009, the American citizen John William Yettaw trespassed upon the shoreline residence of Burmese political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi, at the time under house arrest. This was two weeks before her scheduled release on 27 May. They were both arrested after the incident.