City Pillar Shrine - Atlas Obscura

City Pillar Shrine

The pillars inside this small, ornate shrine hold Bangkok's horoscope within them. 

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At the astrologically auspicious time of 6:45 a.m. on April 21, 1782, a pillar containing the horoscope for the city of Bangkok was erected in a ceremony opposite the northeast corner of the Grand Palace. Most Thai cities have one of these pillars, called a lak mueang, which provides a home for the city’s guardian spirits.

Bangkok’s original pillar is made from a four-meter tree truck carved at the top to resemble a lotus flower. It is believed to have been built by King Rama I, shortly after he moved the capital of his kingdom from Thonburi to Bangkok. The City Pillar Shrine was the first building he saw constructed in this new capital.

In 1852, King Rama IV had a new lak mueang created, with a new horoscope for the city placed inside. The two pillars now stand side by side inside the shrine.

The shrine is in use as an active place of worship, with worshippers coming to leave offerings and seek their fortune.  Many childless couples come to this temple hoping for good news about their fertility.

Know Before You Go

The temple is usually busy with locals worshipping, so if you want to try getting your fortune, there's usually someone willing and able to explain how it works!

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November 10, 2023

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