Sri Maha Mariamman Temple

Bangkok's best Hindu temple

Photo of , , Bangkok

What we say: 3 stars

Known to Thais as Wat Khaek, this colourful Hindu temple is quite the attention grabber when walking down Silom Road.

The outside towers and walls show an elaborate intertwining of Hindu deities that seem to reach for the sky, and the footpaths surrounding the temple are filled with vendors selling flower garlands and fruit to be given as offerings.

The temple was built in the 1860s by immigrants from Tamil Nadu who made their new home in this part of town, which still has a strong southern Indian influence. The temple is dedicated to Maha Mariamman (aka Maha Devi), the goddess of death, who is also believed to have the power to protect against disease and misfortune. The temple's main shrine features an image of the goddess, Shakti, herself an embodiment of Maha Devi associated with creativity, fertility and femininity. The image is considered extremely sacred and white-robed Brahmans accept continual offerings from the faithful -- many of them Thai Buddhists -- in front of Shakti when the temple is open. A red splotch, or bindi, is placed by the Brahmans on the forehead of all who give offerings.

The temple holds special ceremonies in accordance with the moon, and each year in late October the Shakti image is paraded through the area's streets to much fanfare during a festival bearing the goddess' name. Note that the temple is considered to be very sacred -- no photography is prohibited inside the walls and proper attire is required.

More details
Intersection of Silom and Pan Roads
http://srimahamariammantemplebangkok.com
Opening Hours: Mon-Thurs 6:00-20:00, Fri 6:00-21:00, Sat-Sun 6:00-20:30
How to get there: On the corner of Silom and Pan Road, about a five-minute walk from either Surasak or Chong Nonsi BTS stations.
Last updated: 6th June, 2013

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