A colourful shrine surrounded by phalluses

Posted by Sukhumwit Steve on September 15th, 2013 filed in Culture shock, Sightseeing, attractions

A peek inside shops, alleys and homes in Bangkok will usually reveal a shrine with some small offerings and lighted joss-sticks on it. In the grounds of the Swissotel Nai Lert Park near the British Embassy, there is a pavilion and shrine that has to be one of the most unusual in Thailand and probably the world.

The plot of land the pavilion and shrine stand on is literally littered with penis statues which are usually adorned with ribbons, garlands of jasmine flowers and other eye-catching decorations. One of the phallic statues stands more than three meters off the ground.

The shrine is dedicated to the memory of Chao Mae Tuptim a mythical figure of legend who was believed to be the goddess of fertility. Thai women often visit the shrine and offer donations of flowers and joss-sticks when they are trying to conceive. There seems to be some truth in the powers of the goddess as pregnant women returning with more offerings are a frequent sight.

Although hopeful females make up the majority of the shrine’s visitors, there is no shortage of older males and females making the pilgrimage. Many claim there is no harm in hoping for a little health and wealth and say they hope some of the goddess’s benevolence may come their way. This 1Stop webpage lists the main sights in the Thai capital.


13 Responses to “A colourful shrine surrounded by phalluses”

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