The devotion that many Thais profess for some Hindu gods is manifest in small shrines that dot the streets of Bangkok. One of the most famous is the Erawan Shrine, dedicated to Brahma.
Its interest lies not only in observing the way city inhabitants express their faith but also in seeing the mixture of tradition and modernity in the surrounding area.
The one we are looking at now belongs to the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel and is located on the corner of Ratchadamri Road and Pollen Chit Road in the Pathum Wan district, a central shopping area of the city (Siam).
Brahma is represented by a figure that has a head with four faces, while the objects it holds in its hands represent a particular quality or an item, such as the vessel containing the water with which Brahma began the Creation or the Holy Scriptures.
It was constructed in 1956 in order to neutralise the bad karma that haunted the old Erawan Hotel – negative influences that caused severe incidents ever since the building opened. It was finally demolished to make way for the current hotel that was built in 1987.
The place where the temple is located is a good example of modern eclecticism, where everything has a place and everything mingles – market, wealth, technology, faith and religion.