If you want to know what happens, if you combine 250 tons of copper, a world class artifact collection with plenty of Thai and religious culture, you need to head out to the outskirts of Bangkok to visit the Erawan Museum!
The museum was the idea of Mr. Lek Viriyabhun, a Thai businessman who's normal business was to importing luxury European cars to Thailand. This was also the source for his great wealth making projects like the three headed Elephant Museum possible in the first place. One of Mr. Viriyabhun's dreams was to preserving Thai culture and at the same time educate the people through making interesting exhibitions stimulation the desire to learn more. Sadly Mr. Viriyabhun passed away in the year 2000 at the age of 86. He could not witness the opening of his great Erawan Museum which happened four years later.
The most impressive three-headed Elephant monument is placed on top of an also most impressive pedestal. With measurements of 29 meters hight and 39 meters length it is impossible to overlook, dominating the entire scenery from outside as well as inside the museums compound. The statue was casted out of 250 tons of copper and the entire museum with it's surroundings took almost ten years from idea to reality. The name of the place originates from the Hindu mythology where the three headed Elephant is called Airavata or Erawan.
Inside the museum the decorations are fabulous, immediately elevating you to a different state of mind. One has no choice but to feel small surrounded by the four massive pillars covered with tin, featuring moments of Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity with beautiful fine details and covered by the breathtaking stained glass roof created by German artist Jakob Schwarzkopf.
The basement of the pedestal is home to antiques and artifacts such as Chinese porcelain, Benjarong ceramics, tea sets from times long ago, jade ornaments, Chinese furniture and vases. As this area is airconditioned it can double as retreat on extremely hot days.
Save the best for last: highlight of visiting the Erawan museum is without a doubt to go into the head of the elephant. You can either do this by takeing the elevator, or by climbing the circular staircase until you reach the top. Once there you will enter a cave like room with perfect ambient lighting. This room represents Tavatimsa Heaven, a place from the Buddhist cosmology, with a walking Buddha at the end inviting to a silent prayer surrounded by eight more Buddha statues in a variety of postures.
The gardens around the Elephant itself are not less interesting. Featuring countless more mystical creatures the garden is home to astonishing flora and fauna. Benches tucked away in romantic corners of the garden invite the visitor to sit down and escape the every day stress for a little while. The same you can do in the coffee shop opposite the Elepants entrance with a hot or cold drink of your choice before heading to the small shop looking for a nice souvenir to take home.
See next windows for Museum details like entrance fee, opening times or how to get there and many more photos!