07 August 2009


Among the many deities worshipped by the Hindus, Lord Ganesha has in some ways a pride of place. It is not that he is considered to be superior to the great Lords Shiva and Vishnu or the Goddesses but he has a special place in the affection of the people and no worship of any kind or any other deity can begin without an initial worship to Ganesha, among whose many names is Vighneshwara, remover of obstacles.
Ganesha in other forms was known as early as 1200B.C. and was apparently worshipped by several sects in different parts of the country. However, images of this deity are only rarely and infrequently seen in arts and sculpture till the 4th century A.D.
Hindu culture based on the multifaceted Hindu religion has quietly spread beyond the geographical boundaries of India. This Hindu cultural impact is evident from the popularity of Ganapatya in many lands. Ganesha icons and images were seen and found in many lands from the beginning of the first millenium:
  • AFGHANISTAN: Two images of Ganesha have been found in this Century, (a) One in Gardez(belonging to the 6th CenturyA.D. (b) another at Sakar Dhar near Kabul (4th Century A.D.)
  • BALI OF JAVA: Saivism made its first appearance in Java around 4th Century A.D. The oldest image of Ganesha has been found in Dieng Pateu.
  • BORNEO: Images of Ganesha discovered date back to 5th Century A.D.
  • CAMBODIA ( Kampuchia): Temple of Ganesha exists even now.
  • CAMPA(South Annan, Vietnam) _ a four-armed standing Ganesha has been discovered at the temple site of Mison (5th Century A.D.)
  • CHINA: Ganesha pictures have been discovered on wooden panels and frecoes in Khotan in West China.
  • MALAYSIA: Archeologists have found the relieg of Ganesha image, belonging to the 7th CenturyA.D.
  • MANGOLIA: Images of Nritya Ganapathi has been found.
  • IRAN: Plaque containing an elephant-headed figure was discovered in the excavations carried out in Western Iran dating back between 1200 and 1000 B.C.
  • MEXICO: Images of Ganesha have been found in many places along with the images of other Hindu Gods.
  • NEPAL: Ganesha Temple at Zimpi Tandu (800 A.D.) is quite famous.
  • PERU: Aztecs of Central Mexico, Incas of Peru and Mayas of Yucatan worshipped Indra and Ganesha.
  • SUMATRA: In Gungve Batu, a temple with Ganesha images has been found.
  • THAILAND: Archeological discoveries at Prah Pattom and Pong Tak include a bronze image of Ganapathi (6th Century A.D.)
  • PAKISTAN: Harappan site has an elephant-headed composite image. Luristan plate has an elephant-headed composite image that holds a quill in one hand while a snake slithers at his feet.
  • INDIA: In an Amaravati copying, there is a pot-bellied elephant-headed figure below a long garland held by ganas.
My next post will be on Ganapathi Temples / Sthalams......

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