The Fine Arts Department has begun restoring the centuries-old Royal Elephant Kraal with a traditional ceremony in Ayutthaya.
Aroonsak Kingmaee, director of the 3rd Regional Office of Fine Arts, and Laithongrian Meephan, chairman of the Phra Kotchaban Foundation, last week hosted a worship ceremony to proceed with the restoration of the facility, in tambon Suan Prik of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district.
The department received 30 million baht from the government to pursue the task.
At the event, Phra Maha Raja Guru Bidhi Sri Visudhigun, head Brahmin of the Bureau of the Royal Household, read a sacred command to worship deities and holy items believed to be in the Ayutthaya kingdom.
Monks were also invited to chant prayers to dispel a mystery based on the beliefs of elephant mahouts.
The ceremony was held before the Pakam shrine with more than 10 elephants present.
“Talung” poles, where elephants are tethered, were pulled out of the ground for repairs as part of the work.
The kraal is listed as a national archaeological site by the department.
It sits on historic land in Ayutthaya, which has been declared a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
Authorities aim to repair the Pakam shrine and more than 800 talung poles with technicians deployed to do the job.
Surveys will first be conducted to assess the state of the damage before plans for repairs are drawn up. No timeline was given for the restoration work.
The worship ceremony drew respected mahouts from Surin and Chaiyaphum.