The City Pillar Shrine at Lom Sak Phetchabun was built in 1944 by the then Prime Minister of Thailand, Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram. His intention was to move the capital to Phetchabun. Though this plan failed to get approval by the parliament, the idea of erecting a City Pillar Shrine caught on, and in the following years several provincial towns built new shrines. In 1992, the Ministry of Interior ordered that every province should have such a shrine. Source Wikipedia
When I first came to Thailand I did not understand much about shrines and I still have a lot to learn but here is what I understand from my research so far.
Many Thai homes have their “spirit houses” (San Phra Phoom) which is occupied by a spirit of a deceased former resident (San Jao Tee) who protects the occupants of the house. If a stranger comes to visit or stay it is believed by many Thais that San Joe Tee needs to be informed. The elders of the family will request that San Joe Tee extend the protection to the new friend, boyfriend or family member.
Larger buildings such as shops factories or business areas and even Walking Street in Pattaya will have a larger shrine which also has its’ resident San Jao Tee that protects the business and surrounding area.
The city Pillar Shrine could also be said to be a “spirit home”. It is referred to as a “Lak Muang” and is occupied by a more powerful spirit called a “Sanh Jao Poh” which has the strength to take care of the entire city or province.
Shrines in Thailand come in all shapes and sizes. There are many shrines in Thailand called Shrine of King Naresuan the Great who was the king that is credited with forming the nation of Siam and who was also a lover of chickens. Shrines are used by the Thai people for worship and to make requests for blessings of various forms. Some shrines are popular for lottery wins, while others may even by popular with the ladies requesting a good husband. When the request is granted, the recipient takes a gift to the shrine and tells all his/her friends of the blessing which has the natural result of more people coming to that shrine to ask for a similar blessing. Hence some shrines become popular for specific requests. I believe the Tiger Temple in Bangkok is popular with the Bar Girls who are looking for a western husband.
The main Phetchabun City Pillar Shrine was brought from the ancient town of Si Thep and you will find a separate article about it here.
City Pillar Shrine Lom Sak Image Gallery
Below are a few photos of our visit to the City Pillar Shrine Lom Sak. Click on any image to open a cascading light-box and to see a description of the image.