Shrine of Sacred Well at Shway Dagon Pagoda (Tsan Daw Twin) [Rangoon]
Photographer: Watts and Skeen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from the Curzon Collection, of the Sandawdwin or Hair Relics Well at the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, Rangoon (Yangon), in Burma (Myanmar), taken by Watts and Skeen in the 1890s. The sacred well stands on the platform of the Shwe Dagon, Burma’s most revered Buddhist shrine, which according to legend was founded in the sixth century BC to enshrine hair relics of the Buddha. The well marks the place where the relics were washed in a spring thought to be fed by the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River. This general view shows the brick shrine built over the well in 1879, with steps flanked by nagas, or mythical serpents, and a tiered pyat-that spire. A monk stands in front of the well and behind can be seen one of two Shan umbrellas.