The park’s countless dazzling sculptures were the life’s work of Boun Leua Sulilat, a Lao man who spent much of his early life absorbing mystical knowledge from an ascetic hermit named Kaew Ku, who lived in a cave in Laos. Sala Kaew Ku is Sulilat’s impressive attempt to bring this knowledge to life. While the striking depictions draw from a wide range of ancient beliefs, including animist folklore, Hindu mythology and Buddhist traditionalism, the execution is all Sulilat.
Surrounded by well-groomed gardens and a large pond, the 100+ sculptures range from modest in size to way larger than life, with the tallest reaching 25 metres in height. Along with endless grinning Buddhas and animated Hindu gods, the park features several depictions of nagas, or mythical serpents that play a prominent role in South and Southeast Asian mythology. Sulilat himself strongly identified with snakes, believing them to be the purest of all creatures.
During my trip across Central Asia I journeyed to this amazing area of Northern Tajikistan. I will let the images speak for themselves. Yes the sky is that blue and yes the lakes are that colour! and glacial cold too! The Zeravshan Valley (also Zarafshan or Zarafshon) is situated in northern Tajikistan, embedded between the impressive mountain ranges of the western Pamir-Alai massive.“Zeravshan” – which means “Golden River” in Tajik –is the main stream which crosses the valley and which supplies its inhabitants with a most precious resource: water. The area is famous for its unique mountain landscapes and its beautiful lakes: the Alauddin lakes, the Kulikalon lakes, Iskanderkul Lake, the seven lakes of Shing among many others. While being an important tourism and recreation destination during the Soviet era of dispatch tourism, it is now an insiders’ tip among those interested in mountain trekking, alpinism and the little travelled branches of the silk road.