Prome. Covered approach to Pagoda
Photographer: Jackson, J.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph taken by J. Jackson in 1868, part of an album of 43 views of Burma (Myanmar) from the Sladen Collection. View of the north entrance to the Shwe San Daw Pagoda, a gilded stupa built to enshrine hair relics of the Buddha which sits on a hill overlooking the town and river at Prome (modern-day Pyay). The pagoda is reached via a covered walkway leading up the palm-fringed hillside. The spire of the stupa is just visible beyond the ascending line of tiered roofs known as "pyatthat". The roofs are richly ornamented with carved wooden flame-like finials, characteristic of Burmese royal and religious architecture. In the foreground two massive stone leogryphs or chinthes flank the entrance. Mythical animals which are half-lion, half-griffin, they are the traditional guardian figures of Burmese temples. Tradition states that the pagoda dates from the lifetime of the Buddha, who according to legend visited the area in 6th century BC and prophesied the foundation of the nearby ancient Pyu capital of Thiri Kettaya (Sri Ksetra).