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Sole entrance of Angduphorang Jong [Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan]

Sole entrance of Angduphorang Jong [Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan]

Photographer: White, John Claude

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1905

Shelfmark: Photo 20/(18)

Item number: 18

Length: 23.9

Width: 29

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the entrance to the Dzong (fort) at Wangdue Phodrang (formerly Wangdi Phodrang) in Bhutan taken by John Claude White in 1905. This view from the hillside looks down onto the dzong, the entrance of which consists of a flight of steps leading up to the fortified doorway. This photograph also appears in The National Geographic Magazine (Apr 1914). It is one of a set of photographs documenting White's mission to Bhutan to present Ugyen Wangchuk, the Penlop (Governor) of Tongsa (Trongsa) in central Bhutan, who had assisted the British as mediator in the Younghusband Mission to Tibet, with the order of Knight Commander of the Indian Empire. Wangdue Phodrang is a Dzongkhag or district of Bhutan 21 kms from Punakha. The Dzong at Wangdue Phodrang is perched on a ridge above the Punakha Chhu river. Legend states that the Shabdrung Nwagang Namgyal (1594-1651) was moved to name the dzong he founded in 1638 Wangdi after a little boy playing by the river. The Penlop of Wangdue Phodrang was the third most powerful after the Penlops of Trongsa and Paro. Wangdue Phodrang was also significant as the secondary capital after Punakha. The strategic position of the dzong enabled it to control the routes to Trongsa, Punakha, Dagana and Thimphu. The architecture of the dzong comprises three narrow structures following the contours of the ridge but it has only one entrance with a large door flanked by huge prayer wheels.

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