The Mogaung kyaung, [Mandalay]
Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Mogaung Kyaung (Monastery) 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 1904 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 in fulfilment of a Buddhist prophecy that a religious centre would be built at the foot of Mandalay Hill. As a consequence of royal patronage there were many religious foundations in the city and a wealth of monastic
architecture. In his ‘Report on Archaeological Work in Burma for the year 1907-08’ (Rangoon, 1908) Taw Sein Ko wrote of the Mogaung Kyaung: “The monastery was built in 1847 by the Mogaung Mibaya, one of the Queens of King Pagan. It measures 258 feet in length and 166 feet in breadth and is supported by 342 teak pillars, whose girth varies from 8 feet six inches to 5 feet 5 inches; and the building is thus one of majestic proportions. The carvings, with which the multiple roofs and verandah railings are adorned, are bold in design and exquisite in finish, and represent scenes from the Ramayana, thereby affording tangible evidence of
the commingling of Brahmanism and Buddhism on Burmese soil. With periodical earth-oiling and a few structural repairs, this magnificent specimen of Burmese wooden architecture will have a fresh lease of life and ought to last, at least, a full century.” This general view shows part of the building in a dilapidated state. It has a tiered roof and is raised on piles with a veranda from which a flight of steps descends at right.