Guide to Erawan Shrine

How to pray at the Erawan shrine

Nomad team

Nomad team, Nomad Team

Mar 24 · 3 min read

The Erawan Shrine is a Hindu shrine dedicated to the Hindu god Brahma, and is considered one of the most important spiritual and cultural sites in the city. Also commonly known as the Four-Faced Buddha (Phra Phrom), the shrine is located in the middle of several popular shopping centers and is a popular destination for both locals and tourists who come to pray, make offerings, or admire the shrine and traditional dance performances that are held around the shrine.

In addition to the intricate carvings of the shrine and the traditional dance performances, one of the main reasons why the Erawan Shrine is so popular is because of its alleged efficacy in answering prayers and wishes. Stories of the Four-Faced Buddha’s powers have spread very quickly in the last few decades, especially amongst Chinese religious communities, and many tourists travel to Bangkok just to pray to the Four-Faced Buddha. In places like Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, replicas of the shrine have also been built by devotees to honour the divine being.

Source: Vision Thai
Source: Vision Thai

As with most religious places, there are beliefs and practices to adhere to when visiting and praying at the Erawan Shrine. If you are planning to pray for blessings or asking for a wish, read on to find out more about the steps to follow.


  1. If you are planning to head to the shrine, ensure that you are appropriately dressed - ensure that your shoulders and thighs are covered. For ladies, avoid praying when you are on your period as that is considered disrespectful in Thai culture.
  2. It is advised that you abstain from eating meat before (and after) praying.
  3. Buy flowers, joss sticks, and candles that you will be using for your prayer. You will be able to buy them from the counter at the right side in the shrine.
  4. Before praying, wash your hands as a form of respect.


The four faces of the Buddha statue symbolize north, south, east and west, signifying that Phra Phrom has unlimited vision of both the human and heavenly worlds. Each face also signifies a particular significance: the front being for career and academics; left for romance and interpersonal relationships; back for wealth; right for health and safety.

Source: Timeout
Source: Timeout
  1. With your joss sticks in hand, start praying from the first and front face of the Buddha facing the entrance to the shrine.
  2. Go in a clockwise direction and pray to all four faces of the Buddha, regardless what you are praying for. It is considered disrespectful to pray to only one side of the Buddha.
  3. At each of the four faces, place a candle, 1 bunch of flowers, and 3 joss sticks.
  4. When praying, introduce yourself and let the Buddha know what your name is and where you are from. After that, you can make a wish if you would like.
  5. If you make a wish, be as specific as possible, and include details like the timeline that you are looking at. You should also make a promise of what you would do in return if your wishes and prayers were granted. It is said that the more unique your promise is, the more likely your wish would be granted. However, be careful to promise something that you know you can do, as it is said that bad luck will fall if you don’t fulfil your promise. Some common promises are that they would return to the shrine and buy offerings such as coconuts, flowers, wooden elephants, or to hire the dancers in the shrine to dance.
  6. Finish your visit by washing your face, hands, and legs.

“Returning” your wish

The act of “returning” your wish is a form of expressing gratefulness for having your wish fulfilled. How you ‘return’ your wish varies, and is largely dependent on what was promised during your prayer.

Source: Klook
Source: Klook

If you wished for things from the different faces of the Buddha, the returning of the wish would also have to be done separately.

  1. When returning your wish, the steps are similar to what you would do at any other time. However, in addition to the candles, flowers, and joss sticks, you would also bring along other offerings that you promised you would bring along when you made your wish.
  2. When introducing yourself to Buddha, also let them know what wish you are returning, and what you promised you would do.
  3. After you are done with your prayers, you are free to take your offerings back with you — but remember to also ‘inform’ the Buddha before you do so!

There are different sayings about what the most auspicious time to visit the shrine is, but what’s most important is to be sincere and respectful. If you are there and are unsure what to do or where to start, approach the staff at the shrine, and they will be more than happy to help!

📍 Address: 494 Ratchadamri Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

🚶‍♂️ Getting there: Take the BTS Sky Train to Chit Lom station and exit from Exit 8. Walk to the shrine about 100 metres away.

🕤 Opening Hours: 6am to 10pm daily

💰 Cost: Admission to the shrine is free