Phallic Shrine in Bangkok
It was afternoon and we were itching to see some non-touristy places in Bangkok after some minor shopping in Platinum Fashion Mall.
Vasu suggested that we go to this shrine which is famous for seeking the blessings for fertility. And so it is also called Fertility shrine. Although we were done with fertility for this lifetime, 🙂 I agreed and we started walking in the bright and hot sunshine!
We were guided by the map up to a point then we were on our own. People could not understand what we were saying or where we wanted to go. Eventually we reached Swissotel Nailert Park Hotel and asked the security guard. With a sheepish grin he directed us to a small garden at the back.
Ah! What a surprise ! We were in the midst of giant phalluses (or is it phalli?). All carved out of wood or stone!
Although it sits beside a modern hotel, it has a long history. The place is called Chao Mae Tuptim Shrine, simply Tuptim Shrine or more colloquially Phallic Shrine. There were Phalluses of all sizes and also shapes (like a monkey and pig). They were well decorated with ribbons and colored threads and cloths. There was an unmistakable fragrance of incense in the air to tell us that the shrine is very much in use by the locals.
The story has it that Nai Lert a Thai businessman, who owned these lands, found a Spirit House floating in the canal nearby. He picked it up and installed it in these grounds dedicating it to the tree goddess Chao Mae Tuptim, who was said to be residing in the huge tree there. With time people started worshiping this and offerings of all sorts like incense sticks, white jasmine flowers, and lotus buds, started pouring in.
Once a woman, who could not conceive came here to pray. As time went by, she got pregnant and gave birth to a baby. She was so happy that she placed here a sculpture of a phallus as an offering. Since then innumerable women have worshiped and have obviously benefited looking at 100s of phalluses here. There are several sculptures of infants as well.
Phallic objects known as palad khik are not really seen as obscene in Thailand. Many men and women wear necklaces or bracelets with a phallic pendant. Some wear them for fertility, others for good luck. Palad khik is also believed to deliver financial prosperity.
Is it strange? Hindus have been worshiping Phallic Symbol in the form of Shiva Lingam for ages. So probably a combination of Hindu influence mixed with local stories may have created this legend?
Vasu was reminded of having read something similar in a small town in Bhutan. Anyone with more details?
How to get there: Fertility Shrine (others call it the Penis Shrine) is located at 2 Wireless Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok. To get here, take the BTS and get off at the Phloen Chit station. Walk towards the Wave Place Shopping Mall and turn right. You can either walk all the way to the Swissôtel Nai Lert Park (takes 8 minutes) or take the motorcycle taxi. The shrine is at the back of the hotel, right by the river. And it’s free.
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Nice ‘off-the-beaten-path’ article. Can visit only if one has extra time. Sooo many places to visit in Bangkok !!
Bangkok has so many places to see and there are innumerable off the beaten places like this too. 🙂
Amazing post & pics
Thank you Rupam.
This is interesting, although the shiva linga looks very sophisticated and polished in comparison to the real phallus, this is a copy of the real deal 🙂 A trip to thailand and I’ll make my way to this shrine.. 🙂
I also found it only on my recent visit though have been to Thailand 8 times. 🙂
Love to see some non touristy stuff.
And do go.
This is very interesting. A must go place for us males. 🙂
Very nice Post….
Thank u for sharing…
Thank you for reading. 🙂
One might say “how queer?”. However like you have said, in India worshipping of the Shiva Linga amounts to the same. In fact we may have made a sub-religion out of it.
Like always, following your blog gives us all this out of the way and offbeat things. Keep it up.
Thank you for your kind words, Arvi. Keep visiting and encouraging me to show you my part of the world.
Interesting place… somehow I have never managed to go there in any of my Bangkok trips…
will do sometime when I travel there next 🙂 thanks for sharing..
Yeah, you should do it on your next visit.
I did read something similar in Bangkok.
Great pics and story.
Thank you Indrani.
An interesting account and nice pictures. People in Bhutan also wear such bracelets/pendants of phallic signs…isn’t it?
Yes Maniparna, we can find similar things in Korea too. Strange are the ways. 🙂
This is something I had never heard off in Bangkok! Seems to be quite interesting!
Arun, not many people have heard of it. We wanted to explore something non touristy & hence found this. 🙂
that is something interesting 😉
Quite interesting. For the first time I have come to know about this. Thanks for sharing it.
It was a first for me as well. 🙂
Bangkok is so full of such interesting temples, shrines and heritage museums…
Yes, I agree. It never ceases to surprise me. 🙂
It is very different and amazing . Yes in our religion we worship Shiv ling but never listen about Buddhist do this . If you got some detail about a place in Bhutan like it , pl.share it with us .
Yes, they worship it for fertility.
Sure! I haven’t been to Bhutan but have heard of a similar place. Will definitely share when I go there.
Well I never knew there was a phallic shrine in this area. I wonder if it really does work for fertility?
The fact there are ribbons and incense show the locals use it is such a great way to humanize a place. If you’re someone who longs for a baby, you can instantly identify with the locals who visit and pray for the same.
I had absolutely no idea this place existed and we have visited Bangkok 3 times! The smell of incense shows the locals use it – but it would be somewhere I’d probably leave off my list as I have no intention of having children, Just in case it worked!
Huh, interesting, being the child that I am, I was chuckling the whole way through the article! I’ve never seen or even heard of anything like this. I seen many types of fertility shrines, but nothing so , well precise in the male sense! 🙂
What a curious place. A friend of mine showed me also a beach in Thailand with a cave full of this tributes. For us, Europeans is quite peculiar, but is always nice to get to know other traditions, like this one. 🙂
Oh wow I have never heard of this place. What a great thing to do that’s not touristy in Bangkok. Great article 😊
Ok, well this is an usual post. Very interesting though. GreAt post.
Women will return if their wish is fulfilled, and place yet another phallus at the shrine in thanks. Well, looking at your pictures. Probably, a lot of wishes has been granted. Wow! Im just amazed to see all of these displayed in public.
It amazes me how many places in the world have monuments to that part of the male anatomy!