Srisathong temple is devoted to the ancient Hindu god Phra Rahu – the god of darkness, who causes eclipses of the the moon and the sun by eating them. It is a great place to observe Thai traditional dance and music which are put on for the god on Wednesdays and Sundays. People pray to the god of darkness with big tras containing 8 types of black food. Most Thais consider themselves Buddhist although their belief is a mixture of Buddhism, Hinduism and Animism. Srisathong temple along with Bang Phra temple showcase this mixture of Thai beliefs.
Srisathong temple is 12km from our house and can be visited by car, tuk tuk, motorbike or bicycle. There is no charge to visit the temple.
Wat Srisathong story
Phra Rahu is usually depicted holding a ball in front of his mouth which symbolizes the sun and the moon. Worshippers normally come to pray here on Wednesdays and Sundays and during eclipses. It is believed that Phra Rahu can be responsible for bad luck and many people come to pray here because they have had a run of bad luck and seek to change their luck. The wife of a former prime minister came to pray here to change the government’s luck at one time. As Phra Rahu is the god of darkness, when praying to him all items used must be black. You will see black flowers, black incense, black umbrellas and trays with 8 kinds of black foods. Each type of food is used to pray for different things.
Black grapes mean good business
Black liqueur means courage to risk of investments
Black coffee means you will get whatever you wish for
Black jelly means patience and careful thought
Black beans means progress
Black sticky rice means wealth and love from family
Black Thai cake means rewards, success and good luck
Black fermented eggs mean successful contact or errands
If the devotees believe that their parayers have been granted then they will return to the temple and reward the god by having the temple musicians play traditional music and dancers perform a traditional dance. A donation is required for the performance to take place but if you just want to watch you will not have to wait long for a performance to begin (on Wednesdays and Sundays only). This temple is quite rich and this is evident by 3 buildings built behind the main temple. They are magnificently decorated with sculptures on the outside made by artisans brought in from Chiang Mai. This temple is also famous for protective amulets produced here. You can see them inside the temple building located at the west side of the compound (if you stand in front of the main Phra Rahu statue the building is to your left). The amulets must be produced from a one eyed coconut.