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No. 97. Mengoon [Mingun]. Pagoda from North West.

No. 97. Mengoon [Mingun]. Pagoda from North West.

Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1855

Shelfmark: Photo 61/1(97)

Item number: 61197

Genre: Photograph

Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe, from a portfolio of 120 prints, showing the Mingun Pagoda, at Burma (Myanmar), with the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) river beyond. 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 on this mission, his pioneering architectural and topographical views of the country are an important photographic record. Mingun, 11kms from Mandalay on the opposite bank of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) is best known for its immense and incomplete pagoda begun by King Bodawpaya (ruled 1782-1819) who founded Amarapura. He intended it to be the largest Buddhist monument rising to a height of 150 ms but died in 1819 before it could be finished. This photograph gives a general view of the massive, cracked and ruined pagoda (purportedly the largest mass of brickwork in the world). An entry shrine marks each side of its square base and the edifice shows the massive fissures caused by the 1838 earthquake. Tripe wrote, 'Begun but never completed by King Mendaraggee [Bodawpaya] about the end of last century. It is about 120 feet high, and according to a miniature model of its design to be seen below on the river bank, it would have been, finished, about 480 feet high'.

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