Mandalay. The Royal Phoongye house (abode of priests)
Photographer: Jackson, J.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a royal monastery or kyaung at Mandalay, taken by J. Jackson in c.1868, part of an album of 43 views of Burma (Myanmar) from the Sladen Collection. Mandalay Hill is in the background and some monks or pongyis in the foreground. The monastery follows the traditional Burmese form of a raised pavilion surrounded by a wide verandah, from which broad flights of masonry steps descend at the cardinal points of the compass. The square tiered pyat-that roof and spire at right marks the shrine room of the monastery, the hpaya-saung. Other halls have multi-tiered roofs but no spire. It is built of teak and the roofs are highly ornamented with elaborate woodcarvings. Mandalay was founded in 1857 by Mindon Min of the Konbaung dynasty, Burma’s penultimate king (ruled 1853-78), as a new royal capital to replace the former capital at Amarapura which was believed to have become inauspicious. As a consequence of royal patronage religious architecture was found throughout Mandalay, and a number of monasteries and temples were clustered around the base of the hill to the north-east of the city.