Entrance of Shwe Dagone Pagoda [Rangoon]
Photographer: Klier, Philip Adolphe (c.1845-1911)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the south entrance to the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, Rangoon (Yangon), taken by Philip Adolphe Klier in the 1890s in Burma (Myanmar). Klier, of German origin, started his career as professional photographer in 1871 in Moulmein. He specialised in art photography, his work was published in art books, and he eventually became a dealer in arts and crafts. The Shwe Dagon Pagoda is Burma’s most revered Buddhist shrine and is of ancient origin. It stands on a platform on the summit of Singuttara Hill, and is reached via four entrances at the cardinal points of the compass. The South Entrance is the principal entrance and meets the approach road from central Rangoon and the city’s port to the south. Flanking the entrance are two monumental stone chinthes or leogryphs, mythical beasts that are half-lion, half-griffin. They are the traditional guardian figures of Burmese temples. The visitor passes between these and beneath an ornately carved archway surmounted by three tiered roofs known as pyat-thats, leading to a covered stairway up to the pagoda.