Photo: Make an offering.

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Erawan Shrine

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Set amid the unabashed materialism of the Siam Square area, streams of visitors come from China, India and throughout Thailand, among others, to offer flower garlands, incense, golden elephants and dance performances to an image of the Hindu god Brahma at the famous Erawan Shrine.

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The shrine’s sordid history begins with the construction of the nearby Erawan Hotel (now the Hyatt) in the 1950s, when a handful of deaths and several other accidents led many workers to quit due to fears that the terrestrial spirits had not been sufficiently placated before building began. As a result, it was thought, the spirits unleashed their anger on the workers.

The centre of all the attention. Photo taken in or around Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand by David Luekens.

The centre of all the attention. Photo: David Luekens

At the recommendation of an astrologer, a gold-plated, four-faced statue of Phra Phrom (the Thai representation of Brahma) was dedicated on an auspicious date in 1956 to soothe the spirits. Before it was mounted, Buddhist monks and Hindu Brahmans consecrated the statue in elaborate ceremonies. Even the exact minute of its mounting was pre-determined, and afterwards the hotel construction finished ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 500 words.)


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