View of the moat looking towards the city bridge and gate, Mandalay
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the moat looking towards the city bridge and gate, 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 probably shows the east side of the city, looking south. A stone and wooden bridge spanning the moat leads to one of the four main city gates at right. Each of the gates was topped with a seven-tiered roof or pyat-that, used to mark both royal and religious spaces. Smaller pyat-that ornament the crenellated walls at intervals.