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Ganesh Temple In Thailand

Places To Visit In Thailand, Nakhon Nayok Big Lord Ganesh Statue     


Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist nation with a population of around 60 million people. Buddhism has always been known for it's preachings on tolerance and self sufficiency. Tourism is one of the main foreign exchange earners for this country. While American and European tourists have always dominated the number of tourists to the country, many Asian travellers have now started visiting Thailand. It is a good idea to make a note of the interesting places to visit in Thailand, there is something to please everyone. Kaisilver has always tried to take an active part in spreading the word about Thai travel and even Thai food. On this page we introduce you to an amazing Ganesh statue situated in the Nakhon Nayok province of Thailand. This place is not very far from Bangkok, you can combine it with a visit to other interesting places nearby. The Ganesh statue housed in this premises is around 4 to 5 storeys high, the images will give you an idea of just how imposing and gigantic the statue is.

sightseeing in thailand, ganesh statue big in nakhon nayok
If you are a devotee of the Indian god Ganesh or have heard of Lord Ganesha, this is one place that you must see in Thailand. Located at Nakhon Nayok province not very far from Bangkok is this amazing Ganesh statue. The impressive statue is almost as high as a 4 to 5 storey building.

The above image was taken on a cloudy day in September, the clouds add interest to the images. The statue can be seen in full glory, direct sunlight without the clouds would have given it a burnt out appearance. You can see the devotees below as they walk around the statue saying their prayers. The interesting part of this Ganesh temple is that most of the devotees are Thais, we did not see many Indians during our visit to the place. The place itself is more like an open ground, but we will refer to it as a temple in our report.  

big ganesha statue in nakhon nayok, thailand
A closer view of this mind boggline statue. The Lord Ganesh is shown in a sitting stance, you can see the trishul in his left hand that is raised. A snake is also wrapped around the body of Ganesh. This statue dwarfs everything that is around it, hundreds of Thai devotees visit this Ganesh temple on weekends.

This is a closer view of the big Lord Ganesh statue at Nakhon Nayok. The majestic statue shows the Trishul with the three prong design. A snake is shown wrapped around the body of the Ganesha statue. All these features have meaning in the Hindu religion where Ganesh is one of the very important Gods. There is an interesting story in Hindu mythology about how Ganesh came to have an elephants head, we have explained that below.

feet of lord ganesha statue in Thailand
This excellent view of the Ganesh statue at Nakhon Nayok in Thailand shows the massive size of the statue. The feet of the statue are huge and you will either need a special lens or need to back up by around 10 to 15 meters to get the full feet in your camera view.

You can well imagine the maginificient height of this Lord Ganesha statue in Nakhon Nayok but taking a glimpse of the statues feet. The devotees walking around the Ganesh statue can hardly be noticed, even the feet of the statue are a few feet high. Other interesting Ganesh statues are placed near the feet of the big statue.

Another image of mainly Thai devotees praying at the feet of the Lord Ganesh. This temple is more like an open space and houses this very huge Ganesha statue. Since it is not very far off from Bangkok, you can combine a trip to this place with any other outing trip.

The Thai people have embraced Lord Ganesh and given equal respect and devotion as they would to their own Lord. The statue itself is kept in an open ground and the hot sun did not deter hundreds of devotees from paying their respects to this Hindu God. The silent statue seemed to understand all their problems and people seemed to have full confidence that things would get better in their life, family, study and business.

thai monk blessing devotees at the Nakhon Nayok Ganesh temple.
A Thai monk blessing Ganesh devotees on the temple grounds. Most of the devotees were Thais or Chinese. Lord Ganesh is today worshipped by many Thai people. The origin of Lord Ganesh is deeply rooted in Indian tradition and mythology.

Sermons are conducted by Thai monk in this Ganesha temple. People thronged in large numbers near a raised dias to hear the monk. Dozens of smaller Ganesha statues were placed on the raised dias. The monk spoke about hope and wished everyone well. There was something more interesting in his talk, the next paragraph explains what.

thai monk predicts lottery results besides giving blessings to devotees

Besides blessing devotees at the Lord Ganesha temple in Nakhon Nayok, this monk did something quite interesting. He is capable of predicting the lucky digits from the local lottery! No one really knows the accuracy of his predictions but, hundreds of devotees turn up each week to get the secret numbers.

The monk at the Nakhon Nayok Lord Ganesha temple in Thailand did something more than just preach. He also predicted the lottery results of the coming lottery draw. At least some of the devotees had come to hear just that, they carefully noted down the digits as the monk spoke them out. This prediction is ofcourse not to be taken seriously and you are advised to just listen and forget about it. He did finally advise people not to overspend on lottery or other forms of gambling.

thai devotees of lord ganesha streaming into the temple premises.
A stream of Thai visitors to the Ganesha temple in the Nakhon Nayok province. While many of these devotees drove in their private vehicles, several groups turned up in bus loads. A few foreign tourists have also started trickling into this Lord Ganesh temple. You could expect it to draw many more foreign tourists in the coming years.

Despite the sky being cloudy, the day was very hot and humid. The concrete floor only reflected the heat up to your face and body. This did not seem to worry devotees who streamed in through the morning and afternoon. Numerous tables on either side can be seen collecting monetary offerings and donations. There is no need to drop notes or coins into every donation box. You can keep a few coins or small 20 baht notes to be used in such cases.

thai devotees at the temple
Expect the temple to be fully packed on weekends during the time that the monk gives his blessings to the assembled devotees. The prediction of lottery results by the monk seems to draw a significant number of visitors too. Many of the devotees were seen carefully jotting down digits as they were spoken out by the monk.

Most of the devotees at the temple in Nakhon Nayok were Thais. A few foreign tourists were spotted and it does seem like their number would grow in the coming years. Many of the Thai visitors seemed to have come from far away provinces, as crowded buses emptied dozens of devotees into the temple premises.

ganesh in thailand
Another impressive Ganesh statue in the Nakhon Nayok Museum. The museum is in the premises where the big Ganesh statue is mounted. Thai devotees entering the museum pay full respect to this Hindu god.

Once you have paid your respects to the Lord Ganesha statue, spend some time at the Ganesh museum on the same premises. The museum houses a collection of Ganesh statues some of which are very impressive. You are expected to remain silent inside the museum and take off your shoes when entering it. As of September 2009, there are no restrictions on taking photographs and you can also use your flash to do so.

ganesha statue in Thailand museum
This Lord Ganesh statue in the same Thai museum is placed on an elaborately decorated pedestal. The faith and respect that the people of Thailand give to this Indian god can be seen by the way the museum has been maintained. Visitors entering the museum take off their shows and are requested to behave decently when in the museum.

The above image shows one of the very impressive Ganesh statues in the museum. Very intricate work can be seen on the high pedestal on which the Lord Ganesha statue is placed. The backdrop is a cloth with a typical Thai design. When you enter this Ganesh museum in Nakhon Nayok, tell yourself that it is a temple (rather than a museum) and that it deserves to be respected just like any other holy place.

 

The Story Of Ganesh, The God With The Elephant Head.

Hindu mythology says that Lord Ganesh was created by Goddess Parvati. She used some dough to make Ganesh and then breathed life into him. The Goddess wanted someone to keep a watch at the door while she bathed, she asked Ganesha to do so. As Ganesh sat gaurd at the door, Lord Shiva came to visit Goddess Parvati and was stopped by Ganesha. This angered Lord Shiva who cut off Ganesha's head. But on hearing the story from Parvati, Lord Shiva realized that Ganesh was right after all. He then replaced Ganesh's head with that of an elephant. This was how Ganesh came to have an elephants head.


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