Erawan Shrine | Bangkok

by Liz on January 26, 2011

in Travel

There’s one in every major city in Asia. A religious shrine of the Buddhist/Confucian/Shamanist persuasion, right in the center of a burgeoning city of unstoppable skyscrapers. It doesn’t budge, despite the hounding of real estate developers or a powerful government. Its spiritual significance makes capitalism look like a passing fad, and reminds its visitors to look beyond the materialism of shopping malls.

Erawan Shrine is situated in a small corner plot by the opulent Grand Hyatt Bangkok. Once you enter you become submerged in billows of smoky incense, burning by the shrine dedicated to Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. My Time Out Bangkok guide states matter-of-factly it was erected in 1956 to appease the spirits of those who died while erecting the old Erawan Hotel. It also quickly adds in 2006 a man received instant karma after smashing the statue of Brahma. An angry mob reacted, and swiftly beat him to death! Fortunately, the morning we visited there was no such drama: just a small throng of Thais hoping their prayers would waft gently to heaven with the clouds of incense drifting ever upwards. There were even costumed dancers in their silk finery, singing a pious melody that I couldn’t quite comprehend.

A city pilgrim deep in prayer.

Costumed dancers in performance.

Gold Elephants.


  • Anonymous

    Those elephants are so pretty. Lovely photos!

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