Elephant Procession, Wat Sorasak, Sukhothai, Thailand

From Sukhothai, Thailand

Conté crayon, 14 x 17

This could have been a scene from ancient Sri Lanka. The influence of that country’s architectural motifs was unmistakable, from the stroke of the chisel to the slather of the trowel.

I was walking in the central part of the Sukhothai Historical Park when I chanced upon this masterpiece in the deserted shine of Wat Sorasak. It was commissioned to be built in the early 1400s by one monk Nai Inthara Sorasak in honor of the governor.

In awe, I gazed at the parade of 24 stucco elephants that protectively emerged from the bricks holding up the chedi. “These elephants,” my guide told me,“are eternally upholding our great tenets of Buddhism.”

The bricks that made up the base were now worn out by 600 years of exposure to the elements, but the stucco was firmly holding up the line of resolute pachyderms.

I would have liked to wander around here some more, but the mosquito orchestra was getting a bit sonorous and aggressive.  I took a few pictures and later sketched this in the air-conditioned comfort of my room.

 

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