5 Ganesh temples you may not be aware of
Ganesh Chaturthi is probably India’s most popular festival and Ganeshji one of India’s most-loved deities. So tell us, how many of these revered Ganesha shrines have you heard of, let alone been to?
Most Indians have heard of Ganesh Chaturthi. Many non-Indians will know of the festival, too. Fact of the matter is Ganesh Chaturthi is probably India’s most popular festival and Ganeshji one of India’s most-loved deities.
Keeping that in mind, and the fact that Ganesh Chaturthi is just around the corner (September 5th), we couldn’t help but wonder how many of these temples are as well-known as the festival. Tell us, how many of these revered shrines have you heard of, let alone been to?
1. Ganesh Tok, Gangtok, Sikkim
Sikkim is known far and wide as a land of Buddhism, mountains and natural beauty. But a temple devoted to the elephant god? Now that’s something new.
The Ganesh Tok temple is located 7 kilometres from Gangtok town on the Gangtok-Nathula Road and is perched at 6,500 ft. above sea level. It offers a scenic view of Raj Bhavan, Gangtok town, and Mount Khangchendzonga, the third highest mountain in the world.
Another interesting thing to make a note of is that the inside of the shrine is so cramped devotees need to get down on all fours and crawl to pay their respects to the Lord. Perfect.
Speaking of cramped spaces, we have a collection of eco-friendly Ganesha statues for all spaces in store for you here.
2. Khade Ganeshji, Kota
Generally speaking, Kota is best-known for kachoris, palaces, gardens, stones, and saris. But those in the know will also tell you that there is a very famous Ganesh temple in this city that is referred to as the ‘Khade Ganeshji.’ It is among the very few places in the world that you will find a Ganesh Idol in a standing (‘Khade’ is the Hindi word for ‘standing’) posture.
Have you seen very many (or any) Ganesh idols that are not seated? You haven’t, right? And that’s only one of the reasons a pilgrimage to the Khade Ganeshji in Kota is definitely on.
Speaking of interesting names like ‘Khade Ganeshji,’ you might want to check out our range of nameplates with Ganeshji here.
3. Swayambhu Ganpati, Ganpatipule
The Swayambhu Ganapati Temple is believed to be 400 years old. According to lore, a farmer while walking through the Kerda jungles discovered the idol of Ganapati and built a temple around the idol. Thus was born the name ‘Swayambhu Ganpati’ – the word ‘Swayambhu’ means self-created in Sanskrit.
Incidentally, on account of the location (20 kilometres from Ratnagiri), the Ganpati in this temple is also known as the Paschim Dwar Devata, or the sentinel at western gate.
4. Ranthambore Ganeshji
The fearsome and destructive power of Lord Shiva’s third-eye is the stuff legends are made of. His son, Ganeshji, however, is not known as a ‘three-eyed’ one. And that makes this historic temple atop Ranthambhore’s 1000-year-old fort and its Trinetra Ganesha very unique (‘Trinetra’ is the Sanskrit word for ‘three-eyed).
Every day, the Ranthambore Ganeshji receives at least 10 kilograms of snail mail from around world. What’s more, thousands send the first wedding invitation card here to invoke the Lord’s blessings because, as per folk tales, the first one to be invited to grace Lord Krishna’s and Rukmini’s wedding was the Ranthambore Ganeshji over 6500 years ago!
Speaking of seeking the Lord Ganesha’s blessings before embarking on something big or new or important, we have so many ways to celebrate this very popular and generous deity here.
5. Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Pondicherry
This is the epic tale of a shrine that defied the might of the French. Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the temple was constructed five centuries ago, long before the French arrived at Pondicherry. The name is derived from the old kulam (pond) on the western side of the temple that used to be full of manal (sand) blown in from the shores.
Legend has it that on several occasions French missionaries attempted to raze the shrine (which the devotees resisted stoutly) and each time the idol was hurled into the sea, it would magically return. Today, the temple still stands defiantly in the heart of the French Quarter at the same spot it was constructed on five centuries ago.
Oh, and when you visit this legendary indestructible temple, be sure to give the temple elephant Lakshmi a coin and get blessed with a friendly pat on your head for your devotion, belief, and troubles.
You know, there are so many great Ganesh temples that aren’t on this list due to space constraints. And there are many Ganeshji-themed products at Engrave that we haven’t told you about for the same reason.
Well, the temples you’ll find all over India and in some other parts of the world, too. And the products you’ll find here.
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.