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Hindu Shrines in Bangkok : The Erawan Shrine in front of the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel.

Erawan Shrine. (San Phra Phrom) in front of Grand Hyatt Erawan

   

See Video of Erawan Shrine and worshippers at bottom of this page

In March 2006 the Statue of Brahma was almost completely destroyed with a hammer by a young man, believed to be mentally ill. The man himself was beaten to death after desecrating the Erawan Shrine. Initial reports suggest it will take about 2 months to build a new Brahma statue.
A few months later a rebuilt statue of Brahma was inaugurated. The image below is the one currently present.

 

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The four-faced four-armed Erawan Shrine (San Phra Phrom) in front of Grand Hyatt Erawan.

When asked about their religion, most Thais will happily respond that they are Buddhists. However, a simple glance around town will reveal that there are many elements in daily spiritual life that have little to do with Buddhism in its stricter forms. Hinduism and Animism are still there.
If you look around Bangkok, you will see little shrines placed in front of virtually all major buildings. These are the spirit houses, basically there to protect the building from anything happening to it. Small offerings such as food and drinks, are regularly placed there, and Thai people offer their respect when passing the shrines.

One such spirit house was placed in front of the Erawan hotel in the 1950's. However it was not doing its job properly, and many mishaps occurred during the construction of the hotel. So after consulting some spiritual advisers, the spirit house was replaced the present San Phra Phrom (Brahma) or Erawan Shrine. Everything went well after that with the construction work.

All day the Erawan Shrine get many visitors, many offering garlands (if not anything more substantial)

Then there is the story of the old lady that asked for help in her business, and promised to dance to the shrine, if her wisher were granted. Legend has it that her business flourished and she performed as promised.

Now, many hundreds (thousands?) of people visit the Erawan Shrine daily, wishing for luck in business or love. They make small offerings, and often in return for granted wished classical Thai dancers (with orchestra) perform at the Shrine. Also wooden elephants are offered.

The Erawan Shrine itself is gilded and features four arms and four faces. It is located at a very busy intersection (crossing Rajadamri and Phloenchit Roads) with the skytrain going almost overhead in two different direction (one off to Silom Road, the other to Sukhumvit Road). The Erawan Shrine has actually become ever more busy over the last ten years in our opinion, and many garland sellers no line the sidewalk close to San Phra Phrom. The Erawan Shrine is worth a short visit, and is located very close to Chitlom skytrain station. As said before it is at a busy intersection, and many, many shopping centers are located in the same vicinity.

Many garland stalls line the street leading to the Erawan Shrine

There are 5 other Hindu Shrines in close proximity to the Erawan Shrine. They make for an excellent walk and exploration around the Ratchaprasong Intersection. See pictures and a short introduction.

Warning : Apparently the Erawan Shrine is one of the places where Thai 'con artists' hang out. If you are approached by a (usually) well dressed smooth talking person, beware. They will offer to be your guide, possibly suggest some interesting shopping trips (gems are a favorite). Most likely, if you respond favorably to their suggestions, you will end up being ripped off and loose some, if not a lot, of your money. The so-called gem scam has been going out for more than 2 decades. Visitors to some gems shop are offered apparently interesting bargains. Only when they check the resale value of the goods afterwards, it is obvious that they have been duped. Other locations to beware of con artists are the airport on arrival, and the Grand Palace.
Someone took it upon him, to take some snap shots of people involved. We actually advise against that, you may end up in serious trouble if they notice you taking their picture. See how these people look like, but there will be new faces to worry about on a next visit :
Pictures of (alleged) Thai con artists  

 


View Bangkok Temples and More in a larger map


Images by G.V., Bangkok, copyrighted.

 

: Pages contain video

Buddhist Temples, Religion :

Overview of Thai Temples and Royal Monasteries
Thai Temples Glossary
Iconography of Buddha Images

Wat Phrakaew
Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha)
Who Suthat
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Wat Mahathat
Golden Mount (Wat Saket)
Loha Prasat
Wat Benchamabophit
Wat Ratchabophit
Wat Traimit (Golden Buddha)
Video Wat Traimit

Historical Temples in Ayutthaya (15 pages)

Hindu Temples in Bangkok :

Erawan Shrine
Hindu Shrines in Bangkok
Wat Khaek Silom

Sanctuaries and Spirits :

Mae Nak Phra Khanong Shrine
Thai Spirit Houses
Chao Mae Tuptim Shrine

Khmer Sanctuaries in Thailand :

Prasat Hin Phimai
Phanom Wan
Prasat Phanom Rung
Muang Tam
Phimai National Museum

Picture Galleries Thai Temples :

Wat Phrakaew
Wat Suthat
Wat Arun
Wat Mahathat
Wat Ratchabophit
Wat Khaek Silom
Golden Mount
Loha Prasat

Misc :

Mural Paintings in Thai Temples
Wat Yai Intharam Chonburi

 

Content, including images, by Guido Vanhaleweyk, Bangkok. Contact

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