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The Northern face of Palace, [Mandalay]

The Northern face of Palace, [Mandalay]

Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1903

Shelfmark: Photo 1004/1(20)

Item number: 1004120

Length: 20.9

Width: 29.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Nandaw (Royal Palace) at Mandalay in Burma (Myanmar), from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections: Burma Circle, 1903-07. The photograph was taken by an unknown photographer in 1903 under the direction of Taw Sein Ko, the Superintendent of the Archaeological Survey of Burma at the time. This is a view of the grounds on the northern face of the palace, showing a pavilion with a tiered roof and a grass enclosure in the foreground. According to Burmese tradition the palace was built on an east-west axis. The Great Hall of Audience was situated on the east face of the palace, and at left in this view is the gold-plated seven-tiered spire or pyatthat known as the "Centre of the Universe", which crowned the Lion Throne room in the Great Hall. Buildings on the north face of the palace included the Elephant Viewing Room and apartments for queens of various rank. Adjacent to the north face were ornamental lakes. Mandalay was founded in 1857 by Mindon Min (reigned 1853-78), Burma’s penultimate king, in fulfilment of a Buddhist prophecy that a religious centre would be built at the foot of Mandalay Hill and it became Burma’s last great royal capital. The royal palace or Nandaw stood at the centre of the walled city and was one of the first buildings to be constructed, re-using many parts of the teak buildings from Amarapura. The glory of Mandalay was shortlived however as it was annexed by the British Empire in 1886 after the Third Anglo-Burmese war, and the Burmese monarchy was sent into exile in India. The original palace was destroyed by fire during Allied bombing raids in 1945 during the Second World War but has since been partially reconstructed.

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