North-east view of the city with Buddhist monastery buildings, Mandalay
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of north-east Mandalay in Burma (Myanmar), taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s. The last royal capital of Burma, Mandalay was founded in 1857 by King Mindon Min of the Konbaung dynasty who shifted his seat here from Amarapura. Built at the foot of Mandalay Hill, an ancient sacred site, the town took the form of a square walled palace-fortress surrounded by a 70 metre-wide moat. The city was the last capital as the Burma Expeditionary Force entered the city on 28 November 1885, taking the last king of Burma , Thibaw (reigned 1878-1885), prisoner and beginning an occupation. The war culminated in the annexation by the British of Upper Burma on 1 January 1886 and the exile of the king and his queen Supayalat to India. This view shows a section of the north moat with sunken canoes floating in the water in the foreground. On the far side of the moat are Buddhist monastery buildings, possibly forming the perimeter of the Kyauktawgyi Pagoda. They are built on a rectangular plan with two-tier roofs, and the gables, ridges and eaves are traditionally decorated with flamboyant wood-carvings. There was a great deal of monastic architecture in Mandalay as a consequence of royal patronage. Part of Mandalay Hill can be seen in the distance behind.