No. 54. Amerapoora. Bodan Pagoda.
Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe showing the Patodawgyi temple at Amarapura in Burma (Myanmar), from a portfolio of 120 prints. Tripe was the official photographer accompanying a British diplomatic mission to King Mindon Min of Burma in 1855. This followed the British annexation of Pegu after the Second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852. Aside from official duties, the mission was instructed to gather information regarding the country and its people. Tripe's architectural and topographical views are of great documentary importance as they are among the earliest surviving photographs of Burma. Amarapura, on the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) river, was twice the capital of the Burmese kings of the Konbaung dynasty: from 1782 (the year of its foundation by King Bodawpaya) to 1823 and again from 1837 to 1860, after which Mandalay, 11 km to the north, became capital. Amarapura was the site of the first British Embassy to Burma in 1795, and played host again to Tripe's Mission. Amarapura was laid out as a vast square, walled and moated. One of the best-known pagodas of the city is the Patodawgyi, sited just outside the old city wall to the south. It was built by King Bagyidaw in 1820, shortly before he shifted the capital back to Ava.