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Pagoda at Pagan with model of the Mahabodhi

Pagoda at Pagan with model of the Mahabodhi

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1875

Shelfmark: Photo 125/4(5)

Item number: 12545

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a pagoda and a model of the Mahabodhi Temple at Pagan (Bagan), Burma (Myanmar) taken by an unknown photographer in the 1870s. The pagoda or stupa stands in the centre of an enclosure, and its bell-shaped, solid structure enshrining Buddhist relics and images of the Buddha is the characteristic form of Burmese religious architecture. In front is an entrance pavilion with an ornate tiered, carved roof. At left is the model of the Mahabodhi Temple. The original temple is at Bodh Gaya in Bihar State, India, and was built in 500 AD at the site where the Buddha is believed to have achieved enlightenment. There is a second version of the temple at Pagan dating from the 13th century, the Mahabodhi Pagoda, which is a full-scale replica. The pagoda and the temple are among more than two thousand Buddhist monunents built by kings, nobles and monks as meritorious acts on the plain at Pagan on the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River in central Burma. The earliest structure dates from the late 9th century. Most date from Pagan’s golden era between the 11th and the 13th centuries when it was a royal city and the capital of an extensive Burmese kingdom. The hand-written notes on the mount were made by Sir Richard Carnac Temple, who used the image to illustrate a lecture on 'Developments in Buddhist Architecture'.

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