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Erawan Museum - Samut Prakan, ( Paknam )  Thailand. The Three Headed Elephant

The museum's three separate floors symbolise the universe and are designed in accordance with the three-tiered cosmology of the Hindu-Thai Buddhist concept of Tribhumi.

 

The basement level represents the underworld. Alongside rare artefacts from furniture to ceramics and pottery, large display boards detail the history and construction of the Erawan Museum.

 

Moving up to the next level, depicting the human world, the exquisite interior decoration inside the dome-shaped architecture reflects a harmonious blend of Eastern and Western art. Highlights include the splendid stained glass ceiling on which a world map and zodiac are illustrated, the creative design of German artist Jacob Schwarzkopf.

Intricately detailed stucco works by Phetchaburi artisans were elaborately installed over the sweeping staircases, and magnificent arches as well as the Avalokiteshavara shrine are situated on the mezzanine level. All these decorative stuccos are enhanced with countless pieces of crusted Bencharong ceramics.

 

The finely embellished venue is supported by four embossed tin pillars on which are depicted religious tales. These standing columns portray the four Buddhist principles of virtue that helps bring authentic peace to the heart of mankind and sustain the world.

A narrow spiral staircase passing through the right hind leg of the elephant leads to Tavatimsa Heaven, deep inside the elephant's belly.

This eye-catching room on the top of the museum marks the second heaven where Indra resides, and houses two superb Buddha images, glistening with gold. Portions of relics of the Lord Buddha are placed inside the walking Buddha statue below a replica of the Phra Phuttha Sihing.

 

Apart from a display of old Buddha images from different periods, the most charming feature of this level is its curved wall and ceiling, which was transformed into a representation of the eternal cosmos with beautiful hand-painted patterns.

As a result of the solid Hindu influence in Thai Buddhism, the grand Erawan statue has come to serve as a prominent sacred object between Thai worshippers who continue to visit the museum to pay homage and seek blessings from their God elephant.

 

 

Erawan Museum, Samut Prakan, Three Headed Elephant
Erawan Museum, Pictures & Video. How to get there
Erawan Museum, The Three Headed Elephant in Samut Prakan
Erawan Museum, The Three Headed Elephant in Samut Prakan