Though 'taptim' is Thai for pomegranate, and that may well have a lot to do with fertility, this necklace owes its name to the Goddess Taptim whose spirit-house is a hidden shrine in central Bangko...
Though 'taptim' is Thai for pomegranate, and that may well have a lot to do with fertility, this necklace owes its name to the Goddess Taptim whose spirit-house is a hidden shrine in central Bangkok that even a lot of the locals will not know of.
On Wireless Road, a broad tree-covered carriageway that runs through the city-centre, as you cross the American, Dutch and British embassies, you'll need to turn in at Nai Lert Park. Easier still, the nearest BTS Skytrain station being Ploenchit, just exit the BTS station and walk along Thanon Witthayu (as Wirelesss Road is formally called) past the British Embassy on your left. The Nai Lert Park is just a little bit further up, also on the left. You can avail of a water taxi using the Khlong Saen Saeb canal and get off at Tha Witthayu, but you'll still need to access the Mövenpick BDMS Wellness Resort or, more specifically, the Nai Lert Park Heritage Home, using the same directions.The resort opened last year in the same building and grounds of the original Hilton International Hotel. The Chao Mae Tuptim Shrine used to be behind the car park of the hotel and right beside the canal but now a smaller and tidier version of the original shrine has been moved to the grounds of the heritage home.
The hundred-year-old spirit-house is intact as are the votive offerings of flowers, jasmine marigold and rangan, and incense. You'll see neatly stacked figurines and animals to one side, and these have been brought to appease the goddess, as have things like necklaces, combs, hair-bands and dresses. Most noticeable amongst all however, and strewn all over the space, you'll find, are the phalluses of various shapes, sizes and styles made of stone or wood. The latter are stacked together and kept at the base of a tree while the large stone ones all stand in various places across the shrine. Colourful cloth sashes are bound around the lingams which of course derive directly from Shiva worship.
What we've done is simply enshrine the spirit of the shrine in pure guinea gold. Along the lines of the Paladkig amulet that men wear around their waist with string or women carry as a protective charm in their handbags, we've created a 'lingam' centrepiece that's decorated with baroque, pierced seed-pearls,denoting the jasmine, each in their own irregular collet, and tied to the base with wire, and mixed in with that a bed of tiny rangan-phul across the phallus. A fine sabu-dana border runs all along the edge of the pendant making it somewhat celebratory and the scalloped cup collets hold a shapely pearl each at the bottom. Note how the head of the phallus almost bisects the double kamal-ball chain that acts as a sash, making the lingam preeminent in the jewel and allowing the chain with its pearl-and-ball jhur to remain a beautiful necessity.
So, here we are, with a splendidly crafted Paladkig for you to act as a magic charm against any harm anyone or anything may cause you. But that's a secret between you and I : the rest of the world shall see a rare ornament, exceedingly attractive and well crafted, that has a talismanic centrepiece with an infill of irregular pearls and flowers which come together very well with the kamal pati-chain.
With that, we pray to the Chao Mae Tuptim for your happiness and peace, always. Just be careful in asking what you want from her because she's known to grant wishes very promptly, especially when they're related to fecundity of any kind.