The Erawan Shrine in the Thai capital of Bangkok is a Hindu shrine that contains a sculpture of Phra Phrom (also called Than Tao Maha Phrom), the Thai interpretation of the Hindu God of creation, Brahma. The shrine’s name comes from Erawan, an elephant with three heads that belonged to the Hindu deity Indra. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city and is often filled with dance troupes hired by devotees hoping to have their prayers answered. Foreigners often mistake it for a Buddhist shrine, plenty of which can be found all over Bangkok.
Locals believe that each area of land contains a deity and it is customary to build a shrine to appease the god before building any new structure. The Erawan Shrine was built in 1956 for the Erawan Hotel. However, it was built only after construction on the hotel in the adjacent land had already started.
From the beginning, the hotel’s construction was met with mishaps and delays which eventually scared the local workers who stopped working. An astrologer was consulted and he advised the developers to build a shrine to Brahma, the four faced deity. It was supposed to negate bad karma generated by laying the foundation of the hotel at an inauspicious time. Work on the hotel proceeded without a hitch after the Erawan Shrine was constructed.
The original structure was later destroyed by a man in 2006 but was quickly replaced a few months later. One can visit anytime between 6 am and 12 am. The place of worship is located in a prominent part of the city and is readily accessible. One can take either a taxi or a bus. Those coming by BTS have to get off at the Chidlom Station and walk for a few minutes.
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