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First court: Angduphorang Jong [Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan]

First court: Angduphorang Jong [Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan]

Photographer: White, John Claude

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1905

Shelfmark: Photo 20/(20)

Item number: 20

Length: 27.4

Width: 34.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the first court of the Dzong (fort) at Wangdue Phodrang (Wangdi Phodrang) in Bhutan taken by John Claude White in 1905. This view looks across the wide paved courtyard towards the entrance gateway. White described Bhutanese building methods in his article in The National Geographic Magazine in 1914, 'The Bhutanese are very clever builders, and their woodwork is always of a high standard of excellence, their doors, windows and panelling being perfect in their way. The houses are of three of four stories, with balconies opening on to courts in the interior. The ornamentation is of carved wood, generally painted. No ironwork is used, and the doors are hung on ingeniously constructed wooden hinges.' This is one of a set of photographs documenting White's mission to Bhutan to invest Ugyen Wungchuk, the Penlop (Governor) of Tongsa (Trongsa) in central Bhutan, with the order of Knight Commander of the Indian Empire. Wangdue Phodrang is a Dzongkhag or district of Bhutan 21 kms from Punakha. The Dzong at Wangdue Phodrang is perched on a ridge above the Punakha Chhu river. Legend states that the Shabdrung Nwagang Namgyal (1594-1651) was moved to name the dzong he founded in 1638 Wangdi after a little boy playing by the river. The Penlop of Wangdue Phodrang was the third most powerful after the Penlops of Trongsa and Paro. Wangdue Phodrang was also significant as the secondary capital after Punakha.

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