Following India becoming a colony of the British Empire in 1858 many from the southern state of Tamil Nadu preferred to leave their country than live under colonial rule. One such group of Indians came to Bangkok, many as traders of gemstonesor cattle ranchers. A leader of this group of Indians was Vaithi Padayatchi who built this temple about a decade after they arrived; and a street in Silom is named after him - Soi Vaiti - shown on many English street maps as Vithy or Waiti Lane.
Sri Mariamman is the oldest and most important such temple in Thailand.
Stalls near the temple sell flowers, garlands, coconuts and incense to be used in worship, as Mariamman Temple is an important landmark for the Bangkok Tamil Hindu community, as well as a large number of Thai people. It is said that 85% of the Thais visit the temple, many believing 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 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 middays' 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.
Address: 2 Pan Rd, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Phone: +66 97 315 9569