A friend tipped us off that there was a magnificent temple with a stupa that had elephants carved in stone somewhere in Chiang Mai. So we set out walking to find it.
It turns out that in 1297 AD Wat Chiang Man was built on the spot which had been used by King Mengrai (also known as Mangrai the Great) as a camp during the construction of his new capital city (Chiang Mai). It is subsequently the first temple in Chiang Mai.
Just when we simply couldn’t walk anymore, we had arrived! It was just as gorgeous as promised!
We walked all around the base of the “Chedi Chiang Lom” (elephant stupa)…
…and found a place to sit under a tree (with flowers that kept falling on us) and had a picnic lunch of baguette and camembert (not very Thai huh?). We enjoyed watching the elephants…:
…that had been carved in brick and stucco. There were 15 of them in all.
Unlike other Buddhist temples we have visited, this temple was kept wild and natural. There was no landscaping nor a rush to de-weed the tile outside of the grass and small plants poking through. It was beautiful in its ruggedness.
Many animals were enjoying the sacred area as well. We saw 4 dogs laying down as we entered, a cat that had its eye on a small bird in the grass, many birds of all shapes and sizes including one that looked like it could be some sort of hummingbird, many mosquitoes that ate us for lunch and 2 different kinds of lizards. Just imagine all the animals that we couldn’t see!
It’s raining today (guess it’s officially the rainy season now :), so we plan to stay indoors and relax with the balcony door open to enjoy the cool breeze.
Lots of love,
Ligeia and Mindy :):)