Ayung River Stone Carving

Monday, August 28, 2017

The carvings told the story of Ramayana, an epic Hindu poem from 400AD about King Rama, the seventh avatar of Vishnu, god of protection. It tells of his incarnation as a man and birth as Rama, of his marriage to Sita, a fourteen year banishment, Sita’s kidnapping by Ravana, King of Demons. Journey and battle ensues, ending with Sita’s rescue and her unwavering walk through fire to prove her faith to Rama. As she steps into the flames, they fall away as flowers.

A local hotel paid a famous stone carver to create the masterpiece. It took the artist two years to complete. In the years since, moss moved in, coating green along ridges, turning a warrior’s stern jaw fuzzy. Young plants burst from crevices where just enough dirt had been washed down in rains and collected, that the tiny roots could take hold. Jubilant leaves sprouted from the ear crease of a crazed man with bulging eyes, a bulbous nose and straight mustache. Delicate fern leaves, barely an inch long, congregated among the elephant’s mouth below its swinging trunk.

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