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A door in verandah of [Taik Taw] monastery, [Mandalay]

A door in verandah of [Taik Taw] monastery, [Mandalay]

Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1904

Shelfmark: Photo 1004/1(184)

Item number: 10041184

Length: 20.5

Width: 15

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a door in the veranda of the Taik Taw Kyaung (Monastery) at Mandalay in Burma (Myanmar), from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections: Burma Circle, 1903-07. The photograph was taken by an unknown photographer in 1904 under the direction of Taw Sein Ko, the Superintendent of the Archaeological Survey of Burma at the time. The exterior of the Taik Taw monastery was decorated with flamboyant wood carvings, a traditional art form at which Burmese artisans excelled. This is a close-up view of a carved door set in the wooden veranda surrounding the monastery buildings. It features relief carvings of two door guardians in the form of devas (celestial beings from the Burmese Buddhist pantheon) holding branches, with foliage above, surrounded by panels of stylized flowers and mythical beasts with dragons set at either side of the door. The monastery was built in 1859 by King Mindon Min (reigned 1853-78), the founder of Mandalay, Burma’s last royal capital, and was thought to have included architectural elements from the palace at Amarapura, the former Burmese capital. As a consequence of royal patronage there was a wealth of monastic architecture in the city. The Taik Taw Taw Sein Ko wrote of the monastery in his ‘Report on Archaeological Work in Burma for the year 1908-09’ (Rangoon, 1909): “Under the Burmese regime, it was used as the official residence of the Thathanabaing or Buddhist Archbishop, and no effort was spared to impart to it an air of splendour and magnificence…it forms, with the Salin, Shwenandaw and Myadaung [Queen’s Golden] monasteries, a quartette of exquisite specimens of Burmese wooden architecture.”

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