In a city dotted with golden Buddhist temples, Bangkok’s Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple is a colorful exception. It was founded in 1827 by Tamil immigrants from South India, and these days it’s the heart of the city’s Hindu community. Visit the temple to experience a different side of Bangkok’s religion and culture. The Basics
The Sri Mariamman Temple is a working temple, and every day Hindu devotees leave offerings of flowers and fruit. It’s built in a South Indian architectural style, with a 19-foot (6-meter) gopuram, or tower, carved with images of Hindu gods and goddesses and painted bright colors. Inside are three main sanctuaries devoted to the gods Ganesh, Kartik, and Mariamman—the Tamil goddess of nature. Visit independently or on a private tour of Hindu landmarks. Things to Know Before You Go
- Men and women should dress modestly while visiting the temple, with knees and shoulders covered.
- Be respectful of worshippers and do not photograph people who have come to perform their religious ceremonies.
- Stalls selling flowers, coconuts, and other items are lined up outside. While these are intended for Hindus to give as religious offerings, anyone is welcome to purchase and enjoy them.
How to Get There
The best way to reach the temple is to take a taxi. Alternatively, take the BTS train to Surasak station, on the Silom line, and walk to the temple from there.
When to Get There
While the temple is open all day, it tends to be busiest early in the morning and at dusk, when devotees come to perform puja
(worship ceremonies). It’s especially crowded and lively during Deepavali (the Hindu festival of lights), which is usually held in November.
Visit the Erawan Shrine
Although Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country, many Hindu deities are also worshipped by Thai Buddhists, and there are crossovers between the two religious traditions. These can be seen at Bangkok’s famous Erawan Shrine, which is dedicated to Lord Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. It’s a glittering, colorful temple that’s definitely worth visiting.