Places To Visit In Bangkok: Erawan Shrine
About The Erawan Shrine
The Erawan shrine displays a golden, four-headed image of Brahma and has become known as a very lucky and powerful shrine. The atmosphere of merry pilgrimage that surrounds this shrine is always incredible with people arriving confident that their prayers will be answered.
Classical Thai dancers and often an orchestra are present. It is customary for people who feel that their prayers have been answered by the statue to hire the dancers or the orchestra to perform free for the general public.
For 20 Baht or approximately 60 cents USD, you can purchase incense sticks, candles or flowers and use these to make an offering to each of the four faces of this statue. The four faces that you are beseeching are meant to represent Peace and Health, Fortune, Good Relationships and Protection Against Evil.
The small shrine complex is easy to enter and is filled with the noise of the dancers and the wafting scent of incense. It is definitely a fine example of genuine Thai culture and art.
Brief History Of The Erawan Shrine
The shrine was built in 1956 in order to reverse the bad luck that the local government-owned Erawan Hotel had been suffering, supposedly due to having its foundation laid on the wrong day. The building project was over-budget and suffered mishaps such as employee injuries and the misplacement of an entire load of white marble intended for use in the building.
After the shrine was built in 1956, construction of the hotel continued without further problems. To this day, the shrine is revered as lucky. However, it has had a turbulent history; in 2006, the original Brahma statue to which the shrine was dedicated was destroyed by vandals. Fortunately, the shrine was replaced that same year at a time when the sun was directly positioned over the top of the statue which signifies good fortune.
Tips for visitors to The Erawan Shrine
There is no entrance fee to visit the shrine. However candles, flowers or incense usually cost 20 Baht and the cost of hiring the Thai dancers to perform for you may cost several hundred Baht per minute. The quickest way to arrive is by Sky Train via the Chit Lom Station or Siam Square. A single ticket costs around 15 Baht or approximately 45 cents USD.