Update: Hindu Good-Luck Shrine Reopened in Bangkok After Repairs

May 21, 2006

Source: The Star online

Wire Service: AP


On May 21, 2006 The Star online/AP reported, "Hundreds of happy onlookers, including Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, attended the reopening Sunday of a popular good-luck shrine in the Thai capital that was badly damaged two months ago by a mentally disturbed man.

The Erawan Shrine, thousands of Thais and foreigners would come every day to seek good fortune by praying and offering gifts to the four-headed gilt statue of Brahma.

But on March 21, Thanakorn Pakdeepol broke into the shrine's compound and used a hammer to shatter the statue of the Hindu deity, which is also a major tourist attraction. He was beaten to death by an angry mob as he attempted to flee.

Music and dance played a prominent part in the installation Sunday of the replacement statue, which was cheered by the happy onlookers despite intermittent rain.

Crowding against the cast iron gates that ring the shrine's compound, young and old alike snapped pictures, threw flowers and waited in expectation for the arrival of the new statue... Visitors usually promise devotion to the statue in exchange for a change in their luck. They range from infertile couples seeking children, to the lovelorn, to entrepreneurs and people seeking an edge in the lottery.

Usually they would bring token offerings, often purchased from vendors at the site, such as garlands, incense, candles and teak elephants. Worshippers whose wishes are granted often return to the shrine to give thanks, making more offerings and paying musicians and dancers to perform."