Entrance of Shwe Dagon Pagoda, Rangoon 8818
Photographer: Klier, Philip Adolphe (c.1845-1911)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the south entrance to the Shwe Dagon Paya (Pagoda) at Rangoon (Yangon), in Burma (Myanmar), taken by Philip Adolphe Klier in the 1890s. The south entrance is the main entrance to the Shwe Dagon, Burma’s most revered Buddhist shrine. This view looking towards the entrance gateway shows a flight of steps flanked by two giant chinthes or mythical lions, the guardian figures of Burmese temples. At the top of the steps a wide masonry archway is crowned by three spires known as pyat-thats, architectural elements which demarcate sacred space. The arch is decorated with lions and foliate carving and surrounded by a carved heavenly landscape populated by figures from the Burmese pantheon of territorial spirits known as nats. Beyond the archway a covered staircase leads up to the pagoda platform on Singuttara Hill.