View of the moat north of the city, looking towards Buddhist monastery buildings and the hills beyond, Mandalay
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the moat at the north of the city, Mandalay taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s. The last royal capital of Burma, Mandalay was founded in 1857 by King Mindon Min of the Konbaung dynasty who shifted his seat here from Amarapura. Built at the foot of Mandalay Hill, an ancient sacred site, the town took the form of a square walled palace-fortress surrounded by a 70 metre-wide moat. The Burma Expeditionary Force entered the city on 28 November 1885, taking the last king of Burma , Thibaw (reigned 1878-1885), prisoner and beginning an occupation. The war culminated in the annexation by the British of Upper Burma on 1 January 1886 and the exile of the king and his queen Supayalat to India. This view shows part of the north moat with Mandalay Hill in the distance. Lotus leaves float on the surface of the water along with a dilapidated barge. On the far side of the moat is a group of wooden monastery buildings forming the perimeter of the Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, constructed between 1853 and 1878. The gables, ridges and eaves of the two-tier roofs are traditionally decorated with flamboyant wood-carvings. On the skyline are various shrines built on Mandalay Hill.