A photographer has released a new series of photos taken in the village of Indein in Myanmar, a historic site that contains stupas, pagodas and statues of Buddhas scattered all around. The photos offer a fascinating look at the intricacy and beauty of the structures, some of which now stand surrounded by trees and wild plants.
Taken by Romain Veillon as part of his Ask the Dust series on abandoned places, the photographer was inspired to visit while scoping out other sites for his project. “I found out about Indein and those incredible little pagodas. I knew the village next to it isn't abandoned and now some pagodas were getting renovated, but I still wanted to discover it and see how time and vegetation changed the place. I think what makes it unique was to find still so many wonderful statues of Buddhas inside those little stupas. Even if most of them are damaged, I think it's incredible to find this after all those centuries,” Romain told Lonely Planet. The structures mostly date from the 17th to 18th centuries, with the first group found behind the village at Nyaung Ohak. From there a stairway leads to Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of 1054 additional zedi (stupas).
According to Romain, the renovation has been taking place slowly but surely on temples and structures, and new white stupas can even be seen. The area has over 1500 zedi, some of which have been made from mud and stone, others that have been carved in an artistic fashion. Indein and the nearby village are accessed via boat from Nyaung Shwe. The location was once designated as a spiritual site of importance, helping to give rise to the spread of Buddhism.
“What really strikes you is the hundreds of spikes you can see when you are looking around the village. People have been impressed with the pictures and to see all the hidden treasures that still remains there like. The vegetation, the trees growing on the pagodas are very impressive too. They love seeing those big statues of Buddha because it's a unique symbol,” Romain said.
More of Romain’s work is available at his official website.