No. 20. Pugahm Myo [Pagan]. Kyoung near the Ananda Pagoda.
Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe with a general view of the kyaung or monastery attached to the Ananda Pagoda 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 this kyaung, 'Has some fine carvings about it; and attached to it, is a small building of masonry, the interior of which is covered with paintings, representing the Burmese Hell called Ngara, and the Paradise of the Nats. Sawing asunder, pounding in a mortar, are amongst the punishments of the former. The happiness of the latter seems to consist in ease, numerous attendants, and viewing sports, dancing, &c.'