Sri Mariam Man temple is a must see for Hindu tourists visiting Bangkok. This temple’s full name is Wat Phra Si Maha Utama Devi. At over 100 years old, the five-tiered Sri Mariam Man temple is a beautiful and striking mix of colors, shapes and deities. Built in the 1860s by Tamil migrants, the temple features a facade of interwoven Hindu deities in full color. Most of the people at the temple are Indian but you’ll see plenty of Thai and Chinese devotees praying here too as the Hindu gods are just as important in their approach to religion.
The architecture is based on the structure of similar temples in south India. Inside, Sri Maha Mariamman or Mother Mari is centrally located as the main Goddess of the temple and is surrounded by Ganesh, Siva, Krishna, Vishnu, Lord Thendayuthapani, Sri Mahalakshmi and Sri Kali. A small Hindu temple at the center of the site is where Shiva Lingam is located. The temple used to welcome only Hindus and was closed in the afternoon for praying by reciting Ramayana. Nowadays the temple is more open to the public, worshippers of other gods, and tourists.
Maha Mariamman Temple is situated on the corner of Pan Road and Silom Road and is the most significant Tamil Hindu temple in Thailand. Further down the road and on street corners nearby, there are several kiosks that sell saffron-colored marigold flower garlands for worshippers, Indian food and desserts, as well as some western style cafe and breakfast outlets.
This temple is also known as Wat Khaek or Uma Devi temple after the principal Buddha image of the temple. The temple’s name reflects the founder’s belief of Shakti, which is mainly dedicated to Goddess Mariamman. The Hindu Goddess Mariamman or Mother Mari is God Siva’s queen. As Mother Mari, she is the goddess of mercy and elegance. Many devotees come to worship her and pray for good wishes.
Buddhists see it as good karma to pray and give offerings and donations to Hindu gods and this is where you will see the flowers and the decorations sold at the flower market being put to use.
You can walk in and make an offering if you like. There are flower stalls close to the temple, selling flowers, flower garlands, fruits and foods for offerings. Offerings will cost around 60 baht but are not compulsory.
Silom Road is a busy thoroughfare and there’s lots of tuk tuks waiting outside. Taxis, riverboats and public transport links are all nearby to this temple.
Take care of your belongings as it can get quite crowded. Let Your Thai Guide show you the best and most comfortable way to visit Sri Mariam Man temple.
The Silom Road neighborhood is a favorite among tourists. Your Thai Guide will show you the best things to see and do in the area. Consider adding these nearby attractions to your list:
- Lumphini Park – Bangkok’s answer to NYC’s Central Park.
- Asiatique, The Riverfront – modern shopping and dining in the Chao Phraya riverfront.
- Khlong Toei Market
- Wat Traimit – The Temple of Golden Buddha
- (Snake Farm) Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute
- M.R. Kukrit’s House
Wat Phra Si Maha Utama Devi can be visited every day of the week from 6am until 8pm.
Admission Price: Free entry. There is no admission fee however donations are encouraged.
Things you should be aware of when visiting Wat Phra Si Maha Utama Devi:
- You will need to adhere to the usual temple dress codes. Men and women should cover their shoulders and knees (ideally, ankles too). Wear long shorts, capri pants, trousers or a knee-length (or longer) skirt. Wear any shirt that fully covers your shoulders. A t-shirt, blouse or polo is fine. A sari or scarf worn around the shoulders over a tank top is ok. You can even use the Sari or scarf as a makeshift long skirt.
- No photography is allowed inside the temple.
- It takes approximately 15-20 minutes to walk through Wat Phra Si Maha Utama Devi.
- No food is allowed, but you can bring in fruits and milk to worship in the temple. Fun fact: Just next door is a famous bakery that is known for bread with egg custard. Too often people try and carry this local treat into the temple, much to the temple staff’s dismay.