Erawan shrine: Buddhists’ most respected Hindu god, free traditional Thai dance
The Erawan shrine is one of the most famous fascinating landmarks in Thailand. Why fascinating? Because the shrine is Hinduism whereas most worshippers are Buddhists. It’s cross religious.
Established in 1956 upon the construction of the Erawan Hotel (presently, the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel,) the Erawan shrine is where the Brahma statue rests. A statue highly revered by millions of Thais and tourists due to their word of mouth regarding their “wish come true” in exams, jobs, love, fortune, etc.
Making a wish at the Erawan shrine can be performed in different ways. Most worshippers make their wish with a set of offerings like flower garlands, wooden elephants, hiring a Thai traditional dance etc. These offerings are handy right at the shrine. Some serious worshippers would vow to offer a reward once their wish come true. And the rewards can be outrageous like a distance jogging, head shaving, dragon dancing, etc. (There was even a rumor of a naked dance!)
After 50 years of establishment, the Erawan shrine shocked Thailand on the night of March 21, 2006. The Brahma statue was smashed into pieces by a mentally-ill man (who was later was beaten to death by pedestrians who tried to stopped him.) After 2 months of tragedy, the broken statue was assembled from the broken pieces and molded to a new Brahma. And on March 21, 2006, the new Brahma statue was marched gloriously from the Find Arts Department at 7:29 am back to the Erawan shrine at 11.39 am. It was re-established upon witness by Thais and Hong Kong movie stars, millionaires, and tourists, who flew to joined in.
If you want to see a Buddhist practice, the Erawan shrine is definitely a must see. Not only will you witness the Buddhist belief in the Hindu god but with some patience, you can see a free Thai classical dance as well.
Hours: 6 am-10:30 pm, daily
The Erawan shrine is located right in the heart of Bangkok. The shrine is interestingly cross cultural, the best and the classiest place where you will see Buddhist Thais worship the Hindu god. You can also join in the worship no matter what nationality and religion you hold. (Simply follow the others on how to do it right.) Also, with some patience, you may see a traditional Thai dance together with a Thai orchestra. And it’s free!
Despite its so easy-to-find location, the Erawan shrine can be confusing with other nearby newer shrines that are also crowded. The easy way to find (the oldest and the most revered) Erawan shrine is to spot the skytrain flyovers at the intersection where the shrine is right beneath.
Erawan shrine is ideal for
Worshippers wishing for luck 5/5
Getting to Erawan shrine
- Siam BTS skytrain station: Exit 5
- Chit Lom BTS skytrain station: Exit 2