Holy Well S.D. [Shwe Dagon] Pagoda [Rangoon]
Photographer: Klier, Philip Adolphe (c.1845-1911)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Sandawdwin or Hair Relics Well at the Shwe Dagon Paya (Pagoda), Rangoon (Yangon), in Burma (Myanmar), taken by Philip Adolphe Klier in the 1890s. The sacred well stands on the platform of the Shwe Dagon, Burma’s most revered Buddhist shrine, which according to legend was founded in the 6th century BC to enshrine hair relics of the Buddha. The well marks the place where the relics were washed in a spring thought to be fed by the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) river. This general view shows the tiered brick shrine built over the well in 1879, with steps flanked by nagas, or mythical serpents, and a pyat-that spire. In the foreground are flower sellers and worshippers.