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Carving on railing of [Salin] monastery, [Mandalay]

Carving on railing of [Salin] monastery, [Mandalay]

Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1904

Shelfmark: Photo 1004/1(168)

Item number: 10041168

Length: 15

Width: 20.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of carvings on the railings of the Salin Kyaung (Monastery) in Mandalay, 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. Mandalay, in Upper Burma, was the last capital of the Burmese kings, founded in 1857 by King Mindon (reigned 1853-78). The site of the city was chosen in fulfilment of a Buddhist prophecy that a religious centre would be built at the foot of Mandalay Hill. As a consequence of royal patronage there were many religious foundations in the city and a wealth of monastic architecture. The monastery consisted of a series of pavilions raised on piles and surrounded by a veranda, from which flights of steps with curving balustrades descend. This is a close-up view of the ornate scrollwork designs inset with devas, celestial beings from

the Burmese pantheon, carved on the panels which enclosed the veranda. More devas are carved in a row on the top of the railing and other figures on the corner post. In the background are the tiered roofs of the monastery. In ‘Wood-Carving of Burma’ (Rangoon, 1903), Harry L. Tilly writes: “The Salin Monastery was built in 1876 AD by the Salin Princess and the carving with which it is adorned is probably the finest in Burma, and is a good example of work which has not been contaminated by European influence.”

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