This week’s Travel Photo of the Week takes us to picturesque Phromthep Cape in the southern most point of Phuket, Thailand to see the “Elephant Shrine.” As Thailand is predominantly Buddhist, this shrine is often mistaken as Buddhist, but in reality it is a Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Brahman. Brahman, the creation God of Hindu religion is considered to be the creator of the universe and predates Buddhism. The name Phromthep comes from the Thai word Phrom meaning Brahman and Thep meaning God.
Elephants played an important role in the prosperity of Thailand and are considered symbols of both strength and wisdom. The shrine is adorned with hundreds of elephant figures. The elephant figures are offered when requesting a wish or as a thanks when a wish has been granted.
Although this area is a popular place to watch the sunset in the Andaman Sea for locals and tourist alike, it is still a sacred place. If given the opportunity to see this shrine remember, entrance is free but donations are welcome. Yes, Phuket is a beach community but this is a sacred place, no beach wear! Wear a cover up. If you enter the inner circle remove your shoes first. Do not step on the “thresh-hold” and enter left foot first and right foot first to exit. Show respect with both your language and volume and be respectful.
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