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Remains of the figure of leogryph, Mingun Pagoda [Mingun]

Remains of the figure of leogryph, Mingun Pagoda [Mingun]

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1907

Shelfmark: Photo 1004/2(511)

Item number: 511

Length: 15.1

Width: 20.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph from a series by the Archaeological Survey of Burma, including views of Burmese architecture, sculpture and relics, taken between 1907-13, and listed in the Annual Report of the Superintendent. A view of the remains of a colossal chinthe or guardian lion, largely obscured by vegetation at Mingun.

Mandalay in central Burma was the capital of the last Burmese kingdom. Clustered around it on the banks of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) river are other ancient cities, Mingun being one of them, located 11 kms upriver, on the opposite bank. Mingun is best known for the immense unfinished pagoda begun by King Bodawpaya (ruled 1782-1819). Left incomplete at his death, it is purportedly the largest pile of bricks in the world. Bodawpaya intended it to be the tallest structure in Burma and the completed brick base rises to 50 ms, about a third of the intended height. The imposing structure with its chinthes guarding it to the east was much damaged in an earthquake in 1838, and is riven with cracks and fissures.

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