Wat Khaek Silom (Sri Maha Mariamman Temple) on Silom Road, Bangkok
See large images of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple (Wat Khaek Silom).
See Video of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at bottom of this page.
Entrance of Sri Maha Mariamman temple
Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, usually referred to as Wat Khaek by Bangkokians, is located in the middle part of Silom Road, on the corner formed by Silom Road and Pan Road. Dedicated to the Goddess Mariamman it was built by Tamil immigrants in the 1860s. There is a thriving Hindu community in Bangkok, and when visiting this temple you will notice many local worshippers.
Entrance is through the gopuram, in classical South-Indian style. The gopuram is the threshold between the material and the spiritual world inside the temple.
Worshippers in the temple.
As the name of the temple suggests, it is dedicated to Sri Maha Mariamman, the goddess of disease, rain and protection. She is the main South Indian mother goddess, predominant among other places in the rural areas of Tamil Nadu.
The Hindu religion is a mystery to us personally. We found that Sri Maha Mariamman is sometimes associated with the Hindu Goddess Parvati (but not the same). In any case, a notice at the entrance of the temple indicates (as many other sources) that sculptures of the Goddess Uma (Uma-Devi is the Thai name for Parvati) are installed in the temple and that she is the principal goddess.
Top of the gopuram of Sri Maha Mariamman temple.
The facade of the gopuram is adorned with images of many Hindu Deities. Shrines inside are dedicated to Uma-Devi, and also to Ganesha, Vishnu and Krishna. In the temple compound, there is also a small shrine with a lingam inside. Reportedly the temple is being maintained by artisans from Southern India.
It is forbidden to take pictures inside the temple, and we were caught in the act, so had to limit our efforts.
The temple is small but rich in decorations, in the distinctive South-Indian style. However, the environment around is quite unattractive, with the buildings adjacent to the temple, is obvious disrepair. Good urban planning would have prevented from having buildings surrounding the temple in the first place.
On the other side of Pan Road, there are a number of garland vendors (very similar to what you can observe at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok's shopping district).
Mosque on Silom Road, Bangkok.