Sri Maha Mariamman (Wat Khaek)
Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, also known as Maha Uma Devi Temple and Wat Khaek is a South Indian architecture style Hindu temple in Bangkok, Thailand. It was built in 1879 by Vaithi Padayatchi, a Hindu, a Tamil immigrant.
Wat Sri Maha Uma Devi was founded during the reign of King Rama IV by members of the Southern Indian community who immigrated originally to the South of Thailand and then moved to the SilomCanal. The temple was built as a place to worship Uma in accordance with Shaktism, one of the denominations of Hinduism, which has many followers. It is believed that the Devis, who are the consorts of Hindu gods, are the source of power for their husbands. The popular Devis are, for example, Uma, the consort of Shiva; Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, and Saraswati, the consort of Brahma.
In ancient texts that describe the Dashavatara (10 principal Avatars) of Vishnu, Uma was born after Vishnu and stroked his breast. In a Hindu text, she is the daughter of Himavan and the mother of Ganesha and Skanda. Uma is also Sniva’s shakti (power). Originally, the temple was a simple building with less decoration than it has today. There were only sculptures of the many Hindu deities. For example, the sculpture of Shiva was located in the corridor outside the temple. Inside the temple, housed the sculptures of Uma and her sons: Ganesha and Skanda.
Entrance is through the gopuram, in classical South-Indian style. The gopuram is the threshold between the material and the spiritual world inside the temple. The temple's facade is in strikingly florid style of a riot of different colours with carved images of various gods and goddesses in different shapes and sizes. The main shrine of the temple complex is a dome with covering of a gilded copper plate. Within the premises of the temple complex there are three shrines dedicated to Ganesh, Kartik and the main shrine of Sri Maha Mariamman. The practice of worship followed by the devotees is sequentially Ganesh, Kartik and then the main deity. In addition there are also shrines dedicated to the worship of gods Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. The main hall of the shrine is also decorated with images of Mahalakshmi, Saraswati, Kali, and Hanuman.
As the name of the temple suggests, it is dedicated to Sri Maha Mariamman, the goddess of disease, rain and protection. She is the main South Indian mother goddess, predominant among other places in the rural areas of Tamil Nadu.
The Hindu religion is a mystery to us personally. We found that Sri Maha Mariamman is sometimes associated with the Hindu Goddess Parvati (but not the same). In any case, a notice at the entrance of the temple indicates (as many other sources) that sculptures of the Goddess Uma (Uma-Devi is the Thai name for Parvati) are installed in the temple and that she is the principal goddess. The facade of the gopuram is adorned with images of many Hindu Deities. Shrines inside are dedicated to Uma-Devi, and also to Ganesha, Vishnu and Krishna. In the temple compound, there is also a small shrine with a lingam inside. Reportedly the temple is being maintained by artisans from Southern India.
It is forbidden to take pictures inside the temple.
Uma has both benevolent forms (Uma, Parvati) and wrathful aspects (Durga, Kali). In her wrathful avatars, Uma vanquishes Asuras (demons) and creates peace on Earth. In her benevolent form as Uma, she is the Goddess of Compassion and Elegance. She is popular among believers who seek her blessings, especially on love and fertility. Her offerings comprise flower garlands, young coconuts, and .bananas, which are available at the temple. If worshipers wish to bring their own offerings, make sure that there is no meat. Shoes are not allowed in the temple area. From her story, it shows that people have different sides: good and bad. If a person can control their bad side at all times and present only the good, he/she shall be loved by others.
It is said that 85% of the Thais visit the temple as believe that Hinduism is not a separate religion but a branch of Buddhism. Religious festivals, such as Navratri, take place here following the traditional Tamil calendar in September/October. This festival, which is believed to give redress from bad luck, is held for ten days and on the final day the street in front of the temple is colourfully decorated with yellow flower garlands and candles, and the image of Sri Maha Mariamman is taken through the streets in a procession; during this time a portion of the Silom is blocked to traffic. Deepavali is also a special festival in the temple when it is brightly lit up. An oil lamp ritual is held on most mid days' and on Fridays, and prasad, food blessed by god, is distributed to devotees. Apart from these two major festivals, daily worships are attended by a large number of Thai Buddhists and Chinese who believe that Hindu gods help them in business and bless their women to conceive.
From Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok Sri Maha Mariamman temple is 33.8 km and from Bangkok Railway Station it is 3.2 Km. Sri Maha Mariamman temple from Wat Khaek bus stop is just 7 m
From Sala Daeng BTS Station Sri Maha Mariamman temple is 1.9 km, and from Silom MRT Station it is 2.3 Km
Wat Sri Maha Uma Devi or Wat Khaek Silom is located on Silom Road on the south bank of the Bangkok Yai Canal, -Silom District, Bangkok. Take bus no. 15, 77,147, 504, and 544.
- Contact Person:
Khun Suraphong Siridhornkul
- Contact Number:
+66 2 238 4007