Monday, October 14, 2013

Erawan Shrine

I took these photos back in September before we moved here and forgot to post them, but I'm pretty sure if I took them today they would look pretty similar.

 

This is the Erawan shrine, located in the Chit Lom area, right at the confluence of Bangkok's many malls.  Tucked in on the street corner amidst the high-end hotels and malls, in the shadow of the raised BTS tracks, this shrine honoring Brahma was built in the '50s to help alleviate problems plaguing the construction of the Erawan Hotel. 


The shrine is very popular- when I walked by mid-morning on a weekday, the shrine area was packed with people, locals and tourists, making offerings: incense, garlands of marigolds and other flowers, food and drink... 


Elephant statues were available for purchase and subsequent offering (the money goes to charity):





 My guidebook tells me that the shrine is an important place of pilgrimage for Thais in need of "material assistance."  For a wish to be granted, one is supposed to come to the shrine at specific times, offering specific items in a specific number (multiples of seven).  If that wish is subsequently granted, one is supposed to return and commission a dance by the dance troupe located next to the shrine.  Perhaps that's what's happening here?:


Here's the view from above, on the raised walkway connecting the BTS stations.  While I was taking this photo at least 5 people walking paused briefly, looked over the railing the shrine and said a quick prayer:


Look how high the flowers are piled!

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