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No. 41. Amerapoora. East Door of the Maha-thugea-yan-tee Pagoda [Kyauktawgyi Pagoda].

No. 41. Amerapoora. East Door of the Maha-thugea-yan-tee Pagoda [Kyauktawgyi Pagoda].

Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1855

Shelfmark: Photo 61/1(41)

Item number: 61141

Genre: Photograph

Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe, from a portfolio of 120 prints, showing a view of the Kyauktawgyi Pagoda at Amarapura in Burma (Myanmar). In 1855 an officer from the Madras Infantry, Linneaus Tripe, was attached as official photographer to the diplomatic mission sent from India to the Burmese capital of Amarapura. The mission's goal was two-fold: to negotiate with King Mindon Min his acceptance of British rule over Pegu, and to gather information about the country in every detail. During the journey up the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) from Rangoon to Amarapura, Tripe produced a portfolio of 120 large views of scenery and architecture which are amongst the earliest – and finest - surviving images of this then little-known kingdom. A few years after they were taken, the royal capital was transferred 11 km upriver to Mandalay. The letterpress accompanying this views states, 'Near the Residency [where the British Misssion was housed], said to have been built after the plan of the Ananda at Pugahm [Pagan]. There are four entrances like this, the interiors of which are decorated with representations of the worship of Gautama'. The Kyauktawgyi Pagoda (once known as the Maha-thet-kya-yan-ti or 'Great Light of Sakyamuni' after the colossal Buddha image of Sagyin marble housed in it) was built by King Pagan Min in 1847 at one end of a massive wooden bridge spanning the seasonal Taungthaman Lake, and once marked the very edge of Amarapura. It is said to be modelled on the Ananda Pagoda at Pagan (Bagan). Its interior is decorated with mural paintings at the eastern and western sides.

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