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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Four-Faced Buddha of Erawan Shrine | Bangkok

Erawan Shrine, one of the most popular tourist attraction in Bangkok. Anytime throughout the day and night, the place is always crowded with locals and tourists. This is also the Shrine that I won't miss every time I touch down to the land of Bangkok. A lot of people believe that praying at the Shrine will bring them good luck, good fortune and good health. 

So, today I'm going to introduce you to the four-faced Buddha of Erawan Shrine that is located outside Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel. 

How to get there: You can take the BTS to Chit Lom Station and follow the sign " Erawan Bangkok" or "Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok" on the pedestrian bridge. If you are stay at Pratunam like me, I walked using the pedestrian bridge which took me around 30 mins, it depends on which part of Pratunam you stay at.

Erawan Shrine was built on 9th Nov 1956 by Erawan Hotel. It was said that Rear Admiral Luang Suwichanphaet, who specialized in astrology determined that the date which was chosen to lay the foundation stone was not auspicious. It must be corrected by building a shrine of Thao Maha Brahma and a spirit house around the hotel to eliminate all the bad luck. Therefore, the Shrine was built according to his advice and since then a worship ceremony is carried out on 9th Nov every year.
Top view of Erawan Shrine
I normally buy the flowers and joss sticks from inside the shrine. There is a counter at the right hand side at the end of the shrine. I find it to be cheaper than the stalls outside. There are a few packages offered so you can choose from 50 baht to 2000 baht. The person in charge of the counter can speak fluent Mandarin and some English. 
Simple flower and joystick set- 50 baht
You may also see a lot of elephants that were displayed at the side of Shrine. Those who can afford it will donate wooden or golden elephants statues to the Shrine based on their wishes. Other than elephants, you may also hire the dance troupe that is provided by the Shrine to offer to the Buddha.
Golden Elephant
 How to pray: Normally we pray clockwise starting from the front, which is the side that's facing to the entrance. Every face of the Buddha represents different elements like
Front view: Business and Wealth
Left hand side: Wisdom
Back view: Health
Right hand side: Relationship and interpersonal
There was once a Thai tour guide who told me that the best time to pray four faced Buddha is during evening around 6pm-7pm, that is the auspicious time that can lead to higher chances for wishes to be granted. I have not tried that before as I always visit the Shrine based on my available free time.

The opening time for the Shrine is from 6am to 11pm. You may visit anytime during the day or night, I find that it is less crowded during the night and it is more cooling compared to afternoon.

There are a row of stalls selling flowers, joss sticks, elephants statues and others on the street towards the Shrine. You may buy from these stalls before going into the Shrine.

Leave me comment or story  about Erawan Shrine that you would like to share. :)

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