Erawan Museum Overview

The Erawan Museum is immediately identifiable by its three-headed elephant construction that stands stoutly above the facility. The First Floor of the Museum depicts the theme of the underworld in Hindu mythology. The concept of Earth, or current life, is featured on the second floor, and the Third Floor portrays the concept of Tavatimsa Heaven.

The Erawan Museum located in the Samut Prakan Province of Bangkok, Thailand is famous for its gigantic three-headed elephant statue standing on a massive pedestal. This museum has three floors that represent the universe as per Hinduism i.e., the Underworld, Earth, and Heaven. The top floor of the museum is located inside the belly of the giant elephant while the other two floors are situated inside the pedestal. For those exploring Thailand through a curated Thailand trip package, the Erawan Museum offers a unique opportunity to delve into the nation's history, religion, arts, and craftsmanship. Here you can appreciate the history, religion, culture, arts, and culture, all at the same time at the same place. 

The first floor of the museum displays numerous Chinese vases belonging to the Ming and Qing dynasties along with wall placards and photographs describing the history of the construction of the museum. The second floor contains precious arts and antiques such as European pottery, ceramics, a statue of a Chinese Goddess with thousand arms named Guanyin, etc. The third and topmost floor of the museum represents Tavatimsa heaven located on Mount Meru’s top as per the Buddhist cosmology. Here you can see Buddha statues and relics belonging to various eras like Lopburi, Lanna, Ayutthaya, and Rattanakosin. The walls of this floor are covered with the beautiful paintings of the cosmos. 

After exploring the museum, you can also visit the tropical gardens of the Erawan Museum where you can stroll along the stone paths and enjoy a peaceful time near the diminutive streams. The rocky ponds of the gardens have freshwater fish Carp and you can feed them here while admiring the view. The gardens also house several rare plants and some mythological statues, giving it an amazing look and an opportunity for you to take pictures as souvenirs of this one-of-a-kind place. 

History of Erawan Museum 

Airawat, the Hindu God Indra’s elephant, is known as Erawan in Thai culture and the museum is supposed to be dedicated to Erawan and shows three heads of the elephant. The design of the Erawan Museum represents three Worlds of the universe as per Hindu mythology namely the Underworld or the Naga world, the Earth or Human world, and Heaven or Tavatimsa. The museum is built in an approximate area of 12 acres and is made on the inspiration of the creator of the Sanctuary of Truth and Ancient Siam in Pattaya City, Mr. Lek Viriyaphant. The purpose of building this museum was to store the heritage and artifacts to prevent them from any damage.

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• Get to witness the three headed elephants dominating the museum
• Witness the transition from underworld to human earth and then to heaven
• Take a dive into the local traditional and customs strolling across some of the rare collections housed in the exhibition halls
• Learn more about the every single notable exhibit from the multi language audio guides
• Enjoy walking along the stone paths in a lush tropical garden set outside the museum

How To Reach

By BTS: You can reach the Erawan Museum located in Samut Prakan by taking the BTS Skytrain from your location to Pu Chao Station and then cover the rest of the 1.7 km distance by walking or by local taxis.

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Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit the Erawan Museum would be in the morning hours when there would be less crowd and you can spend a good time exploring the relics.

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Other Essential Information

Places to eat near Erawan Museum

1. HeaPing: HeaPing is a good place to eat near the Erawan Museum. You will find the ambience clean and modest. The restaurant offers a wide range of local Thai recipes as well as many international recipes. The restaurant has got a decent parking place so that you can park your vehicle comfortably and enjoy your meal. 

2. Hammgrill: Hammgrill is a popular place to have food close to the Erawan Museum. The staff members of the eatery are very much warm and hospitable. Heading over to this place, you will surely like the polite and responsive service. The food offered is not only delicious but also reasonable. 

3. Kuay Tiew Nai Roi: Kuay Tiew Nai Roi is very much famous for its great chicken noodle soup. It is one of the busiest eateries close to the Erawan Museum. It is a must visit place if you like to relish local Thai cuisines. 

4. Sanctuary PAKNAM: Sanctuary Paknam has got both a cafe and a restaurant. Both the places have got super awesome offerings that are high on taste and reasonable on costs.

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Insider Tips for Visiting Erawan Museum

-The Erawan Museum is famous for its giant elephant statue but there are many other interesting things to see inside and around the museum. 

-The museum is surrounded by a garden with many rare plants, Thai mythological figurines, and a pond with floating freshwater. 

-You can buy a Lotus and flow it in the pond as it is supposed to bring good luck and also feed the carp fish. 

-There is a beautiful shrine located beneath the statue of the elephant and there is also a round staircase with inscriptive sculptures decorating it. 

-A window in the belly of the elephant offers a magnificent view of the garden and areas around the museum. 

-The museum is open from 8 am to 5 pm daily and you will have to pay an admission fee to explore it. 

-You can reach the museum either via Skytrain or Bus, or you can just book a cab from your place.

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Day Wise Timings
Open Today
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Point of Interest for Erawan Museum
Myths and beliefs About Indra and Erawan

Myths and beliefs About Indra and Erawan

It is a matter of fact that in Buddhism, Lord Indra is considered to be the leader of heaven as that of Hindu Mythology. Indra is believed to be the leader of all gods. The Thai word Erawan translates to water, rain cloud, rainbow or lightning and all these signifies Indra using the Erawan Elephant as his vehicle to fly across the realm to give rain to the earth. As per the legends, Lord Shiva gave Indra the vehicle of a three headed elephant and some say it is the child god living in the realm of heaven. When Lord Indra wishes to travel, the child god will transform into a white elephant. As per the Vishnubrana Book, Erawan Elephant happens to be the magical creature that was present during the uproar of the seas.

Mysteries of the Underworld

Mysteries of the Underworld

When you explore the mysteries of the underworld, you will come across a human earth section that represents Mount Meru which is considered to be the centre of the Buddhist universe. This towering structure is a technicolored hall that is rich in artistic exuberance and iconography. You will find the place ornamented starting from the walls to the staircase. You will get to witness some of the hand beaten copperworks, intricate stucco by Petchaburi craftsmen, mural paintings, and tin embossed tableau. The roof of the structure represents the world, milky way, and the zodiac finished with a splendid stained glass ceiling. 

Three Headed Elephant

Three Headed Elephant

The Three Headed elephant structure is considered to be the iconic representation of the Erawan Museum. The statute is about 29 meters high, 39 meters long, and weighs more than 250 tons. The statue of Airavata which is Erawan in Thai, is considered to be the mythological vehicle of Indra as well as the symbol of the eastern religion’s cosmography. While taking a tour of the museum, you must spend time exploring the structure to know more about the intricate designs as well as work of art.

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Buddha’s sculptures

Buddha’s sculptures

You will come across a number of Buddha sculptures all across the museum. The statue of the Bodhisattva Guan Yin stands tall in the middle of the heaven level of the museum and 4 supporting pillars that depict the religious scenes. You will also come across a number of Buddha images in 8 different postures. In the belly of the beast, Tavatimsa Heaven, you will get to see the sacred beings congregating. There are a series of Buddha images in various postures and while walking that are fashioned in the concave walls. The total complex has got fusion of arts, ideas, and religious accents in solemn serenity.

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Gardens at Erawan Museum in Bangkok

Gardens at Erawan Museum in Bangkok

Once you are done with the exploration tour of the Erawan Museum, you can come over to marvel at the beautiful gardens at Erawan museum in Bangkok. The gardens are popular for their surrealistic displays of the lush tropical plants. You will find specially constructed stone paths to walk around embracing the beauty of the gardens. You will also get a chance to feed the schools of carp in the rock ponds and marvel at a number of mythological statues on your way. The garden is home to some of the rare plants that are scattered all over the garden area giving you a chance to capture some of the best photos.

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Floors At Erawan Museum

Floors At Erawan Museum

I. Suvarnabhumi floor: Suvarnabhumi Floor happens to be the basement of the elephant building that showcases a wide range of antiques and ceramics of the bygone era. This floor of the museum conveys the importance of the cultural travel of the people residing in Southeast Asia. Pottery making has been considered as an innovation in the production of utensils and it appears to have been used for thousands of years in the Suvarnabhumi territory. Apart from pottery, you will also come across a number of other antiques displayed in the floor that takes you back in the timeline to the old days of Southeast Asia. You will come across many idols in the ancient Khmer Art and furniture of the Siamese craftsmen in the Rattanakosin Period. 

II. Human world: Human World is a circular building that supports the weight of the elephant. The work of art on this floor having influence of east and west is blended perfectly with the brick masonry holding light pink colored mortar. You will find one of the largest world maps on the ceiling of this floor that is decorated with stained glass. The world map is a work of Mr. Jacob Schwarkopt, a German artist, who used only 4 colors to signify the four elements namely - Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Earth is denoted by yellow color, fire is denoted by red color, wind is denoted by white color, and water is denoted by blue color. Apart from the world map, you will also find a zodiac painting and a picture of human life in the world that conveys the influence of stars on human life. 

III. Cosmic layer: The Cosmic layer is the universe floor inside the elephant shaped building. The path to the floor is white and pink crafted in the shape of a circle around the Phra Ket Arch. In order to reach this floor, you can either take the elevator located in the left hind leg of the elephant or a spiral staircase which is located in the right hind leg of the elephant. The walls besides the stairs are very well decorated with a wide range of murals that depict stories of mythology and fairies. You will come across a beautiful painting of the cosmic solar by german artist on the ceiling of the cosmic floor. The picture has the sun, eight planets, the milky galaxy, and some meteorites. In this artistic representation, you will come to know that certain things co-exist in nature and humans are nothing more than just a tiny speck of dust. 

IV. Pilgrimage route: Erawan Museum has many places of worship near it and it organizes a pilgrimage route for the visitors so that they can pay respects and get blessings at the pagoda. Some places of worship situated within the pilgrimage route of the museum include Phra Ket Chulamanee Chedi, Ganesha Shrine, Sala Phra Brahma, Trimurti Buddha Hall, Isawapong’s elephant family, Witsanupong family elephants, Indra on the Erawan elephant, the Prompong family elephant, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanyin) in the blessing giving posture, and the Class of the Universe. These places have various idols of gods and goddesses with numerous pilgrims coming to get blessings for prosperity from these spiritual anchors. 

The Erawan Museum is located near the Pu Chao BTS Station and Chang Erawan BTS Station. From there you can go to the BTS Pak Nam Station and you will reach the Phra Buddha Chinnarat Mongkonprakan vihara. The other station near the museum that will take you to some pilgrimage sites is BTS Kheha, where you can visit the Ancient City, Thamma Katanyu Foundation Shrine, and Wat Asokaram. You can take a bus from various stations to the rest of the worship places around or you can just book a cab from your hotel or wherever you are staying and explore the pilgrim sites along with the city views.

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Exhibits at Erawan Museum

Exhibits at Erawan Museum

The three floors of the Erawan Museum have different types of exhibits on each one. The first floor representing the Underworld contains ancient Chinese vases from the Ming and Qing dynasties and the walls of this floor are covered in paintings and placards about the history of the museum’s construction. The second floor representing the Earth displays antiques related to European pottery and ancient ceramics, including a statue of a Chinese goddess, Guanyin. The third floor of the museum is a depiction of the Tavatimsa Heaven and is situated in the giant elephant’s belly. This floor includes old Buddha idols from various eras and also many ancient relics related to Buddha, giving it a spiritual aura.

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Tourism Board Alliances

Erawan Museum FAQs

What are the Erawan Museum opening hours?

The Erawan Museum opens from 9:00 AM in the morning to 06:00 PM in the evening.

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What does a 3 headed elephant mean?

The 3 headed elephant structure is one of the most notable structures in the Erawan museum. It has been built with precision and it’s dome shaped appearance symbolizes that the elephants are guarding mother earth.

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What sort of clothing do I need to wear?

When visiting the Erawan Museum, you can make sure that you wear properly covering clothes till your knee. You should not put on sleeveless clothes and clothes that are revealing in nature.

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Can we click photos at the Erawan Museum?

Yes, you can click photos at the Erawan Museum with your cameras. There are no such restrictions on capturing images.

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Erawan Museum Reviews

Traveller image gallery
Vaishnav S
Reviewed: 10 Apr 2023
We need to pay additional expenses for taking tramp, bike or cycles
vaishnav s
vaishnav s
vaishnav s
vaishnav s
Reviewed: 10 Aug 2022
This amazing package on Thrillophilia is the best way to explore Bangkok on a budget. With this ticket we could explore a number of iconic landmarks of the Thai capital, guided by a professional and very friendly local guide.
Vasudev Singh
Reviewed: 03 Jun 2022
There was so much included in this ticket by Thrillophilia. Not only was I able to visit the outdoor museum of the Ancient City and see the amazing sculptures and exhibits here, but I also explored the Erawan Museum and saw the three-headed elephant statue. I also clicked a lot of photos. I loved th... Read More
Reviewed: 13 May 2022
We learned a lot about the area's extensive history as we travelled through The Ancient City, the largest outdoor museum in the world, with our expert guide. The collection at the Erawan Museum and the enormous three-headed elephant were both incredibly fascinating. The temples' and buildings' archi... Read More
Reviewed: 10 Jan 2022
We went on this ancient city tour, booked by thrillophilia when we visited Bangkok and we are so glad that we did. We saw so many places of interest at the world’s biggest outdoor museum. The massive three headed elephant was also worth coming here.
S C Hui
Reviewed: 09 Apr 2023
As a walker, it is fair away from bts station. Better to take vehicle toget there.

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