No. 16. Pugahm Myo [Pagan]. Pato-budho-nya Pagoda. [Pahtothamya]
Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe of the Pahtothamya temple in the Pagan (Bagan)
region of Burma (Myanmar), from a portfolio of 120 prints. With this portfolio of architectural and topographical views, Tripe, an officer from the Madras Infantry, created an early photographic record of Burma. The 1855 British Mission to Burma was instructed to persuade the Burmese king Mindon Min to accept the annexation of Pegu (Lower Burma) following the Anglo-Burmese War of 1852. It was also the intention of the British to collect information about the country. They travelled in Burma from August to early November 1855, stopping at various places to allow Linnaeus Tripe, the official photographer, and the mission's artist, Colesworthy Grant, to perform their duties. Capital of the first kingdom of Burma from the 11th to the 14th century, Pagan is one of the most important archaeological sites in South East Asia, with the remains of over 2000 stupas, temples and monasteries scattered over a 30 km radius. Tripe wrote of the Pahtothamya temple, 'Apparently one of the most ancient of these temples; and probably dating from the tenth century'. Scholars locate this temple to the Early Period of building in Pagan and interpret its name, Temple of Great Fruitfulness, to indicate that it is the symbol of the spread of Theravada Buddhism in Pagan in the 11th century.