A Hindoo temple at Tounghoo, Burma, with Burmese village in background
Photographer: Jackson, J.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a Hindu temple at Taungoo taken by J. Jackson in c.1868. This is a general view of the temple building, a modest single-storey structure with three small domes, a Burmese village can be seen in the background. The pole in the centre foreground is the dhvajastambha or flagpole which is a characteristic feature of Hindu temples. With its Nandi bull statues and sculptures of a peacock and cockerel on its roof the temple is probably dedicated to Kartikkeya, the youthful god of war. In the 19th century a small proportion of the Burmese population was Hindu. They were mainly of Indian descent and resident in the larger towns and cities. The proportion of Indians increased in the period of British rule as they came to work the large tracts of land which the British were converting to the cultivation of rice. Theravada Buddhism remains the dominant religion of Burma, reaching the country from as early as the 3rd century BC and established by King Anawrahta as the state religion in the 11th century. Other religions practiced by the Burmese included Islam, Christianity and Animism.