Faith is stronger at the Erawan Shrine

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Erawan Shrine Bangkok
The Shrine dedicated to Phra Phrom, the Thai version of the Hindu God of Creation, Brahma with its four faces is the center of devotion to the shrine. It was built in 1956 as adviced by an astrologer following misfortunes and unfortunate events during the building of the Erawan Hotel at the same back. The bad luck happened supposedly for the wrong date of building. After the shrine was done, nothing bad happened. Well, except for a deranged man who smashed the image to pieces in 2006 and a bombing incident in August 2015.

It was October and I stopped by at one of Bangkok’s most popular shrines while walking around the center of Bangkok. It was hot and humid but the pull of Erawan Shrine, for both believers and tourists, is just too great to resist that, for the second time in 15 years, I was once again back at this place.

It was early afternoon, but the area, at the center of Bangkok’s mecca of commercialism was teeming with people. Visitors, both from East Asia and China were jostling with locals to place their offerings. Some were plain curious, as I am, taking photos while others were silently praying.

In the center is the newer image of Phra Phrom, Thai equivalent of the Hindu God Brahma. Below him are various offerings of food, flowers, miniature elephants as well as gifts that devotees who came back after their prayers were answered.

But two months before this humid afternoon, a bomb exploded just outside the shrine killing 20 people and injuring a hundred. Suspects have been apprehended. As the news have eventually died down, believers are back, armed with their faith and prayers.

Erawan Shrine Bangkok
Devotees congregate at one of Bangkok’s popular shrines
Erawan Shrine Bangkok
Traditional Thai dancers at the shrine who believers usually give donations. They believe that their dances will make their prayers answered.
Erawan Shrine Bangkok
Hands clasped in prayers with joss sticks
Erawan Shrine Bangkok
Offerings of fruit, flowers and wooden miniature elephants. Some people even buy birds outside the perimeter fence and set these free infront of the shrine.
Erawan Shrine Bangkok
At the back of the shrine are these miniature golden elephants and ths vat bourne by nagas.
Erawan Shrine Bangkok
The popular shrine at the intersection of Ratchadamri Road and Rachaprasong
Erawan Shrine Bangkok
A devotee offering prayers and flowers to the god
Erawan Shrine Bangkok
The Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel replaced the Erawan Hotel in 1987
Erawan Shrine Bangkok
The Erawan Shrine as seen above the elevated walkway
Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

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