The outside of a Bangkok shopping mall isn’t most people’s idea of a romantic setting. Flanked by the traffic-choked Ratchadamri Road on one side and the modern glitz of the Central World Plaza, Isetan and Zen department stores on the other, the Trimurti Shrine is an unlikely venue for romantics. Nevertheless, lovelorn Thais of all ages make a beeline for this shrine to place red roses and light red candles in their quest for love.
The Trimurti Shrine is a replica of an ancient statue from Ayutthaya and is comprised of the three most powerful Hindu gods; Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver) and Shiva (the destroyer). In their combined form they become Lord Trimurti who represents love and unity. Hindu gods and figures are common in Buddhist Thai culture and the influence of Brahmanism and Hinduism dates back hundreds of years in Thailand. The Trimurti Shrine was originally associated with success, prosperity and happiness. It’s a relatively recent phenomenon that Bangkok locals have concentrated on the love aspect of the shrine, but it is now firmly established as a venue where those in search of love will go to make a prayer and an offering.
Visiting the Trimurti Shrine
The shrine is located within an attractive water-feature in front of the Central World Plaza shopping mall on Bangkok’s Ratchadamri Road. The mall itself closes at 22.00 but the shrine is outside and can be visited at any time. It is said by some Bangkok people that Lord Trimurti descends from the heavens on Tuesdays and Thursdays to listen to the prayers of his visitors. What is even more remarkable is that those in the know say there is a specific time-slot for when this happens; 21.30. Whatever day or time you visit the Trimurti Shrine you are almost certain to see at least one person offering up a prayer. If you are a romantic at heart the traditional offering is nine red roses (nine is a lucky number on Thailand) along with red incense sticks and red candles. Not surprisingly, the most popular day of the year for visitors to the shrine is Valentine’s Day.
The shrine itself isn’t particularly big or impressive, but it is a unique experience if you want to see something away from the more obvious Bangkok tourist attractions especially if you are in the central Siam and Ratchaprasong area anyway visiting the shopping malls. A few yards away from the Trimurti statue is the shrine to Ganesh, the elephant-headed god. Other attractions in the nearby vicinity include the Baiyoke Tower, Suan Pakkad Palace and the Erawan Shrine.
The nearest Skytrain station to the Trimurti Shrine is Chitlom. If you aren’t staying close to the Skytrain or metro network but don’t mind jumping on and off the Bangkok canal-boat taxis, there is a boat stop (Pratunam Pier) just a few minutes’ walk away on the Klong Saen Saeb canal. Alternatively, just flag down a taxi-meter.