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Kubyaukgyi Pagoda, [Thiriyapyitsaya, Pagan].

Kubyaukgyi Pagoda, [Thiriyapyitsaya, Pagan].

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1907

Shelfmark: Photo 1004/2(517)

Item number: 517

Length: 14.6

Width: 20.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Kubyaukgyi Pagoda in Pagan (Bagan), Burma (Myanmar), from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections: Burma Circle, 1907-13. The photograph was taken by an unknown photographer of the Burma Archaeological Survey.

Pagan is one of the most spectacular sites not only in Burma but in Southeast Asia. Its unique collection of ruins spreads over 40 square kilometres beside the Ayeyarwaddy (Irrawaddy) River. There are thousands of stupas and temples, large and small. Evidence shows that Pagan was inhabited almost 2,000 years ago, but these buildings date from a fervour of construction spanning 250 years from the mid-11th century. The great King Anawrahta, who ruled from AD 1044 to 1077, built some of its greatest monuments, making it a major centre of Theravada Buddhism.

Kublai Khan's Mongols purportedly ransacked it in the 13th century, but the causes for the decline of this city-state from about the 14th century is debated by scholars.

The Kubyaukgyi temple in this picture is located near the little village of Thiriyapyitsaya at Pagan and was erected in Pagan's Late Period at some time between the mid-12th to the late 13th century. It was at the southerly limits of Pagan and there is a lesser concentration of monuments here. Its superstructure is after the 'Bodh Gaya Type', following the model of the Mahabodhi temple at Bodh Gaya in India. The front has a triple pediment over an arched porch, and the other three faces have mock door panels. The main sanctuary is at ground level but there is a smaller shrine on the upper terrace set into the east face.

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