Ganesa Beyond The Indian Frontiers

Introduction of Ganesa Beyond The Indian Frontiers
Introduction of Religio-Cultural Emissaries From India

Introduction of Ganesa Beyond The Indian Frontiers


Ganesa was most popular in Khotan.9 A number of bronze tablets and painted wooden panels were discovered by Stein in the course of his explorations of a stupa at Endere. Here some of the representations are in the classic Indian form whereas others can be distinguished by certain characteristics peculiar to Chinese Turkestan. This is evident from the figure of Ganesa which depicts.the elephant-headed god seated on a cushion with soles of his feet touching each other (Fig. 5). He wears tight-fitting trousers which have their origin in Central Asia where they were known as somstamni (Sanskrit svasthana and Hindi suthana). The somstamni is dark brown in colour and over it is an apron-like garment of tiger skin (vyaghra~charma). He wears a single stringed pearl necklace (ekavali) bejewelled keyuras in his arms. On the head is a dainty tiara. The attributes in his hands are not very clear but the proper right probably holds a bowl of sweets and in the upper right hand probably the goad (ankusa). The proper left has what looks like a radish. (mula-kanda) while the upper left holds an axe (parasu).

In the rock-cut temples of Bezaklik, there are several frescoes in which representations of Ganesa are found. They usually depict him seated with six arms, holding sun and moon, banner and probably the matulinga. Behind his head is a nimbus (prabha-valaya). An interesting feature of these representations of Ganesa is that the elephant face does not follow the usual representation of the god because the trunk somewhat resembles the snout of wild boar. However, the god being in the company of Siva and Kartikeya, there should be little doubt about his identity as Ganesa.

At Khaklik, about 75 miles from Khotan, two painted representations of Ganesa have been found .Of these, one depicts an emaciated Ganesa. Three of his hands are seen; they hold a bowl of sweets, goad ankusa) and radish each. The upper left hand is not clearly seen. The god is shown wearing a dhoti-like lower garment (antariya) and an upper garment (uttariya).

Another figure shows Ganesa seated on a cushion with prabha-valaya at the back. He wears a crown and jewellery on his person. The trunk is turned towards right and he appears to be looking at the female attendant on his left. He has four arms, each holding a radish, a modaka, an indistinct object and one hand is seen resting on the thigh. He wears a bluish lower garment.