The Thudama Zayat, [Mandalay]
Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Thudama 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 Thudama Zayat was a Buddhist Convocation Hall and with the nearby Patan Zayat, a Thein or Ordination Hall, was among the structures necessary for the consecration
of the new city. In his ‘Report on Archaeological Work in Burma for the year 1904-05’ (Rangoon, 1905) 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 has a three-tiered roof decorated with ornate woodcarving and is shown in a dilapidated state.