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Kyaikpun Pagoda near Pegu (Cambodian Tower)

Kyaikpun Pagoda near Pegu (Cambodian Tower)

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1875

Shelfmark: Photo 125/4(9)

Item number: 12549

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Kyaikpun Pagoda near Pegu (Bago), Burma (Myanmar), taken by an unknown photographer in the 1870s. Believed to have been founded in 573 AD by two Mon princes, Bago (ancient Hanthawadi), was established as the centre of a great Mon kingdom between the 14th and 16th centuries. Kyaikpun Pagoda is an unusual pagoda in the form of four colossal 30m-high Buddha images, in sitting postures, facing the four cardinal points of the compass. They are seated back to back against a massive brick pillar. The pagoda, 5 km south-west of Bago on a tributary of the Bago River, was built by King Dhammazedi (ruled 1472-92) in 1476. The photograph is one of a series of images in the Temple Collection documenting examples of pagoda architecture in Burma which were taken from a set of slides used by Sir Richard Carnac Temple to illustrate a lecture on 'Developments in Buddhist Architecture'. It is reproduced opposite the title-page in volume one of The British Burma Gazetteer (Rangoon, 1880), where it is captioned ‘Ruins of a colossal image of Gaudama, Zaing-Ga-Naing’.

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