Group of zayats in North Moat road, [Mandalay]
Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a group of zayats (rest houses) 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 city of Mandalay was Burma’s last great royal capital. It was founded in 1857 by Mindon Min (reigned 1853-78), Burma’s penultimate king, in fulfilment of a Buddhist prophecy that a religious centre would be built at the foot of Mandalay Hill.
At its heart was the Royal Palace, which stood in a square fortress surrounded by a moat. "Zayat" is the Burmese term for a public rest house used by travellers and pilgrims, and a large number of these were built in Mandalay on the banks of the north side of the moat to provide accommodation for visiting monks during the Fifth Great Buddhist Synod which was held at Mandalay in 1872. This view shows a series of them on North Moat road, with the moat in the foreground and Mandalay Hill in the distance.