Erawan Museum

Discover the Giant Three-Headed Elephant at Thailand’s Erawan Museum

Erawan Museum:  Explore this unique museum in Bangkok, home to a colossal three-headed elephant statue. Discover its stunning architecture, art, and serene gardens

If you’ve visited Bangkok, you’ve likely explored famous landmarks in the Old City such as The Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Arun, and Wat Pho.

However, there’s another remarkable attraction you might not have heard of: a museum featuring a massive copper statue of a three-headed elephant. This fascinating place is the Erawan Museum, one of the most unique and intriguing museums in Bangkok.

Erawan Museum
The architectural diagram of Erawan Museum’s elephant showcases the impressive dimensions, with the elephant standing 29 meters tall and its trunk extending the height to an incredible 43.6 meters. The sculpture’s body weighs an astonishing 150 tons, while the head alone is 100 tons.

The Three-Headed Elephant Statue

As you enter the Erawan Museum, the first thing you’ll notice is the gigantic three-headed elephant statue known as Erawan, a Hindu mythological creature.  This colossal sculpture stands an impressive 29 meters (95 feet) tall and 39 meters (128 feet) long.

Interestingly, the three elephant heads represent the Hindu gods Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), and Shiva (the destroyer). Each head is intricately carved and lavishly decorated with vibrant colors and detailed designs symbolic of Buddhist and Hindu iconography.

Made of pure copper and steel rods, this impressive piece of art resides above  a huge museum building. It is an awe-inspiring sight that blends Thai artistic traditions with mythological narratives.

Erawan Museum
As you step inside, you are greeted by a breathtaking lobby featuring an ornate staircase, intricate carvings, and a mesmerizing stained glass dome. This stunning entrance sets the tone for the artistic and cultural wonders that await you within.

What’s inside Erawan Museum?

As we walked into the museum, we were greeted by a beautiful lobby filled with old and rare artifacts. When we moved up to the second floor, we entered a peaceful and spiritual area. This floor is filled with religious statues and artifacts. The most stunning feature here is the stained-glass ceiling that lights up the room with beautiful colors. It was a calming place to sit and take in the beauty around us.

Erawan Museum
Explore the top floor of the Erawan Museum, where you can admire a stunning shrine with a graceful statue, vibrant decor, and offerings. This serene space invites reflection and showcases the museum’s exquisite artistry.

Top Floor: Heavenly Views

The top floor of the museum is inside the huge elephant statue. This area represents a Buddhist heaven and is decorated with beautiful murals and sculptures. The art here shows scenes from Buddhist stories and is very detailed and colorful. It felt like we were in a different world, filled with peace and beauty.

Discover the enchanting rows of elephants at the sprawling garden of Erawan Museum. These lifelike statues make elephant sounds when triggered by sensors, adding a playful and immersive touch to your visit.

Erawan Museum’s Garden: Nature’s Beauty

After exploring inside, we went outside to the museum’s lovely garden. The garden is a quiet and relaxing place with sculptures, ponds, and lots of plants. We enjoyed walking along the paths, listening to the birds, and taking in the peaceful surroundings. It was a perfect way to end our visit.

Moreover, there’s an entire walkway of different colored elephants that you can walk under. There are sensors along the path which when triggered cause elephant sounds to play through speakers. A little cheesy perhaps for adults, but fun for kids like me.

This lush and vibrant garden at the Erawan Museum provides a serene oasis for weary travelers

How to get there:

Erawan Museum lies a bit farther south in the neighboring Samut Prakan province. However, visitors from Bangkok can conveniently reach it by taking the BTS SkyTrain. Ride the Sukhumvit line all the way to its final stop at Samrong Station.

From there, you can complete the journey by taxi, Uber, or Grab car service to arrive at the Erawan Museum grounds.

Alternatively, you can avoid public transportation altogether and take a private taxi or rideshare directly from your hotel to the Erawan Museum. That’s the option we chose, and it was definitely more convenient, although more expensive than taking the BTS train.

Final Thoughts

Although it’s called a ‘museum,’ the Erawan Museum is not your typical museum. It features some religious and cultural artifacts but feels more like an open-air exhibit with statues and shrines sprawled across the entire property, all centered around the enormous three-headed elephant statue.

As I mentioned earlier, the Erawan Museum is quite far from Bangkok. If you’re not a fan of long travels, you might want to skip this attraction. In addition to the travel time, the entrance fee is 400 baht (about USD 10), which can be pricey if you’re traveling on a budget.

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  1. karen says:

    omg this is sooooo cool and I bet it is amazing to see in person. I love how rich Thailand is, it is gorgeous.

  2. I always love visiting museums while travelling abroad! The Erawan Museum looks like no exception, and the three-headed elephant would be so cool to see in-person.

  3. I would love to see the Erawan Museum one day. I’ve always wanted to visit Thailand, and this would be one of my first stops.

  4. That does sound like a cool museum. I think my family would enjoy that statue.

  5. barbie ritzman says:

    Fascinating article on the Erawan Museum! Your vivid descriptions and historical context bring the three-headed elephant to life. Definitely a must-visit on my next trip to Thailand.

  6. Elizabeth Flores says:

    My Family and I wanted to travel to Thailand during spring break but we couldnt make the trip happen, it is on my list of places to visit and this is one location that we definitely would want on our list. Hopefully we are able to make this trip next year.

  7. Great overview of the Erawan Museum in Thailand! Love the details about the stunning three-headed elephant statue and the beautiful garden. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  8. The Erawan Museum in Bangkok sounds truly fascinating! The massive copper statue of the three-headed elephant and the blend of Thai artistic traditions, mythological narratives, and religious artefacts make it a captivating experience. I would definitely consider visiting the Erawan Museum if I ever find myself in Bangkok.

  9. kushi says:

    WHat a cool museum to visit. I am sure my family would love this. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Archana Singh says:

    I have been to Thailand countless times but never visited the Erawan Museum. The giant three-headed elephant sounds too good to miss. I know what to see next time I am in Bangkok.

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