Erawan Shrine is one of the smallest yet one of the most famous attractions in Bangkok. It is important equally to both locals and foreign visitors. The Shrine is dedicated to Lord Brahma, a Hindu god referred to in Thai language as Thao Maha Phrom. Thus the official name of the shrine is Thao Maha Phrom Shrine, but it is popularly known as “Erawan Shrine” due to its location and history. Its an open compound below Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel which earlier was the building of a government owned hotel called Erawan Hotel. In the year 1956 when Erawan Hotel was under construction, a series of mishaps took place on the site that upset the construction workers. It was believed that the construction of the building had been started on a wrong date. Due to the workers’ protest, an astrologer was consulted who advised building of the shrine honouring Lord Brahma who is known as “the creator” as per Hindu mythology. It is said that after construction of the shrine in the compound, the construction of the hotel went smoothly. The construction of the shrine was the work of the Department of Fine Arts of the Thai government and was completed on November 9, 1956. Later in the year 1987, the original hotel was demolished and the new Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel came up. It is the immense faith in the power of Lord Brahma to grant wishes and answer prayers is what brings everyone to the shrine. It remains open daily from early morning to midnight.
The Golden Brahma Statue
The present Brahma statue is made of plaster, gold, bronze and other metals and was placed in the shrine in the year 2006 after the old statue was vandalised by a person believed to be of an unsound mind. The Lord Brahma statue was slightly damaged and repaired again in 2015 after a suspected terrorist bombing of the Erawan shrine.
A troupe of Thai dancers performs at the shrine. Its a series of short special dance performances that coincide with the prayer of a worshipper who pays for the dance. The dancers perform behind the person as he kneels to pray. It is supposedly a way to attract the attention of the Lord to the prayer. The cost of engaging the dancers in the prayer varies from 260 to 710 THB depending on the number of dancers that can be between 2 and 8. Photography / videography, etc. is allowed at the shrine.
Erawan Shrine is located close to Chit Lom BTS Station. There is a skywalk that connects Siam BTS Station to Chit Lom Station. Its the Ratchaprasong intersection of Ratchadamri Road where one can climb down from the skybridge and cross the road to the shrine. It is a half hour stop but proves relaxing for a tourist in this primarily shopping area. Highly recommended.