Travel to Great Mirror: Photo 2
The British in 1855 photographed Pagan, which began within a walled area in the elbow of the river's curve and extended over several square miles of adjoining plain, shown here. Inevitably, they saw the two kinds of structures that remain of Pagan. On the left, a zedi. It's a reliquary monument, or at least a place where a treasure is kept. On the right is a gu, literally a cave. It's not really a cave, but the form can be traced back to true caves. In plain English, one might categorize the forms as pagoda and temple. Scores of each kind survive on a plain that is parched--farmed in the summer monsoon but barren in the winter. This is the driest part of Myanmar, an unfavorable site for an imperial capital.
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