Modern pagodas at Pagan
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of pagodas at Pagan (Bagan), Burma (Myanmar) taken by an unknown photographer in the 1870s. Pagodas or stupas are a characteristic form of Burmese religious architecture. A solid structure containing Buddhist relics or a shrine, a stupa comprises of a bell-shaped dome with bands of ornamental moulding resting on a series of square terraces, crowned with a conical hti or umbrella. Pagodas are among more than two thousand Buddhist monuments built by kings, nobles and monks as meritorious acts on the plain at Pagan on the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River in central Burma. The earliest structure dates from the late 9th century but most date from the period of Pagan’s golden age, between the 11th and the 13th centuries, when it was a royal city and the capital of an extensive Burmese kingdom. The pagodas in the picture are described as 'modern' because they were recent (19th century) structures. The photograph is one of a series of images in the Temple Collection documenting Burmese pagodas which were taken from a set of slides used by Sir Richard Carnac Temple to illustrate a lecture on 'Developments in Buddhist Architecture'.