Original image of Four Face Buddha (Erawan Shrine,Bangkok)
The Erawan Shrine or San Phra Phrom located at the Rajprasong intersection, next to Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel is the most popular shrine amongst Asian tourists and locals in Bangkok. From day to night, people from all walks of life come here to seek blessings. The shrine holds the Hindu god Brahma in the center, known in Thai as Phra Phrom. The four-headed deity is a class of celestial beings but not Lord Buddha. The name Erawan comes from Brahma’s thirty-three headed elephant.
Classical Thai dancers (Erawan Shrine, Bangkok)
The Shrine used to be a spirit house in the past. Spirit houses are common throughout Thailand, and can be found outside almost every house and building. It protects the land and its inhabitants. The gilded plaster statue was enshrined on November 9, 1956 to ward off bad luck during the construction of the first Erawan Hotel. It is a very significant date for true believers and devotees from all over the world come and pay homage to the highly revered deity every year. In March 2006, the statue itself was unfortunately destroyed by a demented man and a replacement was quickly built in May.
Offerings to Four Face Buddha (Erawan Shrine, Bangkok)
The Four Face Buddha literally has four faces. It is said that each of the four faces represent the elements of the earth that face four different directions. In a clockwise direction starting at the entrance, the first Face which represents the Face of Peace and Health, Face of Good Fortune, Face of Good Relationships and Face of Protection against Evils.
Urn filled with holy water (Four Faced Buddha of Erawan Shrine)
Devotees usually sprinkle a few drops of holy water over their heads and shoulders or dropping a couple of coins into the urn after prayer.
Cages of birds for releasing (Erawan Shrine, Bangkok)
Merit making has become part of my routine in Bangkok. The Thais believe that we create merit credit for doing good deeds and merit deficit for bad deeds performed. At the entrance of the Shrine, caged birds like Munia are being sold for releasing. I usually pay 100 THB to release a family of birds but not at Erawan Shrine, 500 THB for a cage of birds!!!
There are many who claim their wishes have been granted here, especially on Thursday and devotees offer marigold flowers, coconuts, candles and incense sticks in front of the deity. Often, if a wish has been granted, people thank the God by offering gigantic teak elephants and candles and have also commissioned classical Thai dancers to dance in front of the God.
But even if you do not believe in such things, it is worth the visit to learn more about the Thais distinctive culture and traditions.
Price for the dancers to dance for you
2 dancers = 260 Baht 4 dancers = 360 Baht 6 dancers = 610 Baht 8 dancers = 710 Baht . Remember to purchase your offering inside the Shrine because it will only cost you from 50 THB and above.
Visiting Times: Brahma Shrine: 6.00-23.00 hrs
Getting There: Skytrain to Siam Square if you are from the Silom Line or skytrain to Chit Lom Station if you are in Sukhumvit Line.
A devotee offers gold leaf @ Four Face Buddha of Erawan Shrine (Bangkok)
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Come to coffin donation,you will either catch a cab or motorbike to Ruamkatanyu Foundation situated next to Wat Hua Lampong. The Taoist shrine is situated right above San Yan MRT station (Exit 1). If you are interested to donate some money to the poor, go to Thien Fa Foundation located in Bangkok’s Chinatown (Yawaorat). A beautiful statue of Kwan Yim or the Goddness of Mercy crafted from teakwood await you. For protection, pray to Lord Ganesha or if you are looking for love, simply pray to Phra Trimurti (God of Love) in front of Isetan at CentralWorld.
Four Face Buddha of Erawan Shrine (Bangkok, Thailand)