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Notes on the Geography of Burma / Myanmar: Pagan: Photo 2

world pictures Burma / Myanmar: Pagan

The pioneering British in 1855 photographed Pagan, which begins within a walled area in the elbow of the river's curve and extends over several square miles of adjoining plain, shown here. Inevitably, the early visitors 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 the plain, which is farmed in the summer monsoon but barren in the winter. This is the driest part of Myanmar.

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