Shiva Shrine

Shiva Shrine
The Shiva shrine of Kampaeng Phet

This shrine to the Hindu god Shiva appears to date from the early sixteenth century. It was apparently erected under the direction of a Governor appointed from Ayutthaya. It seems that many other restorations of local temples were also undertaken around this time. While the shrine was created long after Buddhism had taken a firm hold in ancient Siam, the old Hindu deities were still revered as guardian spirits, and the Shiva shrine was apparently intended to watch over the city.

Shiva Statue
The original Shiva statue from the shrine, on display in the Kampaeng Phet National Museum.

The statue on display in the open-air shrine today is a copy of the original bronze, which is now on display in the Kampaeng Phet National Musuem. There's another copy in the Aranyik information center. In the 1930s a German missionary sawed off the head and hands of the statue. Fortunately, the missionary and the body parts were found in Bangkok before they had a chance to leave the country. The parts were welded back on the statue, and that's when the original was moved to the museum for safe-keeping.