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Eaves of main hall of [Taik Taw] monastery, [Mandalay]

Eaves of main hall of [Taik Taw] monastery, [Mandalay]

Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1904

Shelfmark: Photo 1004/1(183)

Item number: 10041183

Length: 15

Width: 20.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the carved eaves on the main hall 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 monastery

was built in 1859 by King Mindon Min (reigned 1853-78), the founder of Mandalay, Burma’s last royal capital. As a consequence of royal patronage there was a wealth of monastic architecture in the city. The Taik Taw included architectural elements thought to have come from the palace at Amarapura, the former Burmese capital, and the exterior was decorated with flamboyant wood carvings, a traditional art form at which Burmese artisans excelled. This is a perspective looking up towards the tiered roof on the main hall of the monastery, with the posts and railings of the veranda in the foreground. The eaves and railings

are ornamented with carvings featuring flame-like pointed “nat-saw” and horn-like projections, stylized designs of flowers and foliage, mythical beasts and celestial beings from the Burmese pantheon. 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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