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The Southern Garden, [Mandalay]

The Southern Garden, [Mandalay]

Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1903

Shelfmark: Photo 1004/1(24)

Item number: 1004124

Length: 21

Width: 29

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the southern garden and summer house in 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. Thes garden lay next to ornamental lakes with artificial grottoes bordered by palm groves to the south of the palace, outside the inner enclosure. This is a view looking over a pond towards a bridge and the summer house where Thibaw, the last king of Burma, formally surrendered to the British in 1885. 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. Thibaw ruled from 1878 until 1885, when Mandalay was occupied by the British during the Third Burmese War which culminated in the annexation of Upper Burma. On 1 January 1886 Burma ceased to exist as an independent country and became a province of British India. Thibaw and his queen Supayalat were deposed and exiled to Madras in India. 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 overlooked the gardens. The original wooden palace and many surrounding buildings were destroyed by fire during Allied bombing raids in 1945 during the Second World War but it has since been partially reconstructed.

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