Upholding a culture enriched by religious values, Thai people pay homage to numerous shrines and spirit houses sited across the country. Bangkok is no exception for housing many such places of worship.
Shrines in Bangkok are dedicated to deities venerated in Hinduism and Buddhism. The devout offer their prayers and offerings at these shrines to invoke blessings. In return they are said to be granted with success, love, happiness, good fortune and even fertility. Some of the most prominent shrines in Bangkok are Ganesha Shrine, Erawan Shrine, Trimurti Shrine and Mae Nak Shrine to name but a few. These elaborately ornate shrines house imposing golden statues of the deities.
Enshrined at the Ganesha Shrine, opposite CentralWorld shopping complex, is the statue of Lord Ganesha, who is known as the epitome of wisdom and intellect. The most exquisite shrine in Bangkok is the Erawan Shrine, housing the statue of the four faced Brahma. Sitting next to the Ganesha Shrine is the Trimurti Shrine where the statue of the God of Love is placed. It is mostly frequented by the lovelorn at night, paying homage, clad in crimson.
In contrast, a spirit house is a place where locals can offer gifts and prayers to appease various spirits dwelling in the neighbourhood. The spirit houses are perched on top of an elaborately decorated pedestal, resting few feet above the ground. Before the spirit house is another pedestal lower in height and is used for keeping offerings. Bearing a minimalist design, this pedestal for offerings also has earthen containers for burning incense sticks and vases to place flowers.
Spirit houses are elegantly designed as a doll-house size shrine with ornate multi-tiered roofs. Some roofs have miniature prangs, influenced by Khmer style pagoda. Small clay figurines are either placed inside or outside them. These models represent human figurines of spectators and dancers, animals like elephants and horses, and sometimes plants like banana trees. Small garlands with beaded or floral tussles adorn the rooftop and drape on either side of its gable, while big garlands in vibrant hues surround the spirit house. Travellers to Bangkok can easily spot spirit houses lying outside any house or building.
Accommodation can be found effortlessly among numerous Bangkok apartments or Bangkok service apartments like Bangkok President Park, with easy access to the city’s top attractions. While taking a pleasurable sightseeing tour, culture and aesthetic enthusiasts will find the alluring designs of the many Bangkok shrines and spirit houses to be fascinating indeed.