No. 79. Amerapoora. Aracan Pagoda.
Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe, from a portfolio of 120 prints, of the Arakan Pagoda near Amarapura in Burma (Myanmar).In 1855 a British mission was sent to King Mindon Min of Burma to negotiate a settlement regarding Pegu, annexed by the British following the Second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852. Linnaeus Tripe was the official photographer accompanying this mission, his architectural and topographical views of the country are an important photographic record. Arakan (Rakhaing) was an ancient kingdom on the east coast of the Bay of Bengal which was independent till conquered by the Burmese in 1784. Tradition relates that the Mahamuni Image of Rakhaing was discovered by the people of Rakhaing in the jungle and revered as the guardian of the kingdom. The Mahamuni Pagoda, also called the Rakhaing Pagoda, is located 3 kms south of Mandalay on the way to Amarapura and was built in the late 18th century by King Bodawpaya for the image which he had snatched from Rakhaing. A century later it burned down to the ground and was rebuilt. Tripe described the celebrated image housed in the shrine, 'About two miles from Amerapoora, here was placed the famous bronze image of Gautama 12 feet high brought from Aracan in 1784'. Mahamuni is the name for the Buddha as the Great Sage.