No. 99. Mengoon. Small bell in front of Pagoda.
Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe, from a portfolio of 120 prints, with a view of a bell in front of the Mingun Pagoda, at 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 on this mission, his pioneering architectural and topographical views of the country are an important photographic record. Mingun is located 11 kms upriver from Mandalay, on the opposite bank of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady). In 1790 King Bodawpaya (ruled 1782-1819) began the construction of a stupa at Mingun, intended to be the highest Buddhist monument in the world and to reach a height of 150 m. Only its base had been completed when the project was abandoned at the King’s death in 1819. This terrace is considered the biggest pile of bricks in the world. The imposing structure was much damaged in an earthquake in 1838. Bronze casting has an ancient tradition in Burma and bronze bells are an integral tool of spiritual ritual at Buddhist pagodas.