Chinese Tower near Bhamo
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a pagoda near Bhamo in Burma (Myanmar), taken by an unknown photographer in the 1870s. Bhamo is in Kachin State in the hills of Burma’s far north. It is the closest and most accessible point to China. In the 19th century the district population included Chinese-Shan settlers from nearby Chinese provinces and Cantonese who came via Rangoon (Yangon). There are a number of early pagodas or stupas in the environs of Bhamo and Sampanago, an ancient ruined walled city nearby. A characteristic Burmese Buddhist shrine form, stupas are solid structures built to enshrine sacred Buddhist relics, precious stones and images of the Buddha. The photograph was taken from a set of slides used by Sir Richard Carnac Temple to illustrate a lecture on 'Developments in Buddhist Architecture'. His interest in this stupa was due to its unusually tall and thin bell shape. This can be deduced from the hand-written notes he made on the mount. Not seen in this image, they read: ''Greatly elongated stupa with [?] sikra & procession paths - Shan ti on top''