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No. 2. Prome. North entrance to the Shwe San-dau Pagoda.

No. 2. Prome. North entrance to the Shwe San-dau Pagoda.

Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1855

Shelfmark: Photo 61/1(2)

Item number: 6112

Genre: Photograph

Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe of the north entrance of the Shwesandaw Paya (Pagoda) at Prome (Pyay) in Burma (Myanmar), from a portfolio of 120 prints. The photographer wrote, 'Burmese temples are usually, if the ground permit, on heights, the approach being by a flight of steps, guarded by Griffins [chinthes]: that shown above is very fine, the Griffins are eighty feet high, and with the carved gables of the roof, bristling with gilded vanes, form a magnificent approach to the golden Pagoda above'. Pyay lies on a bend of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) river, and near it are the ruins of the ancient Pyu capital of Sri Kshetra (Thayekhittaya), an important archaeological site of Myanmar. The stupa or zedi of Shwesandaw is the main point of interest in Pyay, perched on top of a hill. The name refers to the 'Golden Hair Relics' and legend states that the stupa was built to house the hairs of the Buddha over 2000 years ago. While the core of the stupa may be very ancient, the current structure dates from much later. Shwesandaw is believed to be the first monument built by King Anawrahta after his conquest of Thaton and the Mons in 1057.

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