The Southern face of Palace, [Mandalay]
Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the grounds 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 looking along a road leading to an entrance gateway on the southern face of the palace, which was bordered by gardens, ornamental lakes, grottoes, and palm groves. The palace was built on an east-west axis according to Burmese tradition and the main public state rooms were situated on the east face. Apart from royal apartments of the King’s mother and queens of various rank, buildings on the southern face included a theatre and a watch-tower, which can be seen in the distance. 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.