The Patan Zayat, [Mandalay]
Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Patan Zayat 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. Mandalay, in Upper Burma, was the last capital of the Burmese kings and was founded in 1857 by King Mindon Min (reigned 1853-78) in fulfilment of a Buddhist prophecy that a religious centre would be built at the foot of Mandalay Hill. The Patan Zayat was a Thein or Buddhist Ordination Hall and was used as an annexe of the nearby Thudama Zayat, a Convocation Hall. Both structures were among those
necessary for the consecration of the new city. In his ‘Report on Archaeological Work in Burma for the year 1903-04’ (Rangoon, 1904) Taw Sein Ko wrote: “These buildings are situated at the foot of the Mandalay Hill, Mandalay, and were built by King Mindon in 1859, at the same time as the palace. They were used for holding ecclesiastical convocations and ecclesiastical courts. In 1902, the election of the thathanabaing or Buddhist Archbishop was held in these buildings.” The hall is an open-sided structure crowned by a tiered roof decorated with ornate woodcarving.