Indonesia's historical and cultural ties with India are explicitly mentioned in the Ramayana. In Java, where Hinduism struck strong roots, GaneshaGanesha
The guardian deity of Hindus, also known as the Ganapati (The God of all groups) is the son of Lord Shiva ... was represented in a huge variety of forms, an indication of his popularity. A seated, four-armed Ganesha is holding a broken tusk, Garland and bowl of sweets, believed to be hailing from the 8th century, and was found in Chandi Banon Temple, Central Java. Other ancient statues bear similarity to the iconography of the Ellora caves in India.
Among the renowned Balinese, Ganesha temples are the 11th-century cave of Goa Gajah – Cave of the Elephant, with representations of the Hindu trinity and Ganesha.
Among the most ancient Ganesh Temple, dating from the 8th and 9th centuries, are the Dieng Plateau statues (likely Sanjaya dynasty). Sharing the similarity with famous cave Temples of Ellora (Maharashtra), the Ganesh holds an empty bowl (and not full of sweets like usually in India) and they portray a specific posture (however also known in India) with the sole pious feet pressed together, resting on the ground. The oldest, carved in the 6th century, is a relaxing four-armed Ganesh. The lower hands grip, on the right side of the broken tusk, on the left side, holds a saucer of sweets. The upper hands hold an axe and a rosary. Ganesh wears bracelets, a necklace and a holy thread made of a snake. He is adorned with a ornated crown on his head.
A little later, the Prambanam remnants (17 km from the big city of Yoggyakarta) give a testimony of a period (9th-10th century) greatly influenced by the Gupta and post-Gupta styles, who constructed a lot of temples and spiritual centres. The huge ShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ... temple of the Lara Jonggrang complex is popular for it's impressive architecture and Lord Ganesh, similar to those from Dieng. The pedestal of the statues, sculpted in a volcanic stone, is adorned with skulls at times.
In the main atrium, one can find the standing gigantic four-armed Shiva statue (this is the Mahadeva form of the God). In the Southern sanctuary, stands Agastya, as the divine Shiva Master and Supreme Guru; in the Western Shrine is Lord Ganesh, the Shiva's son; lastly, in the Northern Shrine abides the statue of Durga Maheshasuramardini.
Wood Ganesh carvings are intricately designed by the villagers around the small town Ubud, allowing the carvers variations in different forms. Mainly, one can see two fashions:
1. Ganesh with very detailed shapes (dress, crown, ornaments), made in a soft white wood ("crocodile wood" = Zanthoxylum rhetsa), or in an aromatic sandal wood, imported from Kalimantan and Sulawesi, or in suar wood, a harder material but not so difficult to carve
2. Ganesh with simplified and rounded body form; they use the "suar", or beautiful rare ebony coming from other islands. Commonly, suar wood is used, since its hue, once treated with boot-polish, has a red-brownish colour. Many shopkeepers believe that suar is mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni), a tree which grows in Java. But, in reality, mahogany is an expensive material and suar (sometimes called rain tree wood) is another tree, Pithecellobium saman.
In Balinese towns and villages, there are three main gods to worship and Ganesh is the familiar God, many people consider him as synonymous to the epitome of knowledge and learning as Goddess SaraswatiSaraswati
The name Saraswati is a combination of two Sanskrit words.... Ganesh is believed to be the guardian of the fellowmen staying in the villages and therefore, he is found on the threshold of every home with a stern-face to protect people from obstacles and demons.
Location: The Ganesh Temple is found in at least more than 15 spots in Indonesia, but the most famous of them all is the Goa Gajah, Elephant Cave
Built In: The Temples are built a long time back with lost traces.
Dedicated To: The Temples in Bali are dedicated to three main gods where Lord Ganesh is of prime significance.
Attraction: Some of the amazing temples dedicated to Lord Ganesh are as follows:
- Goa Gajah Temple: Goa Gajah ‘Elephant Cave' is an archaeological site of significant historical value that makes it a special place to visit. Located on the cool western edge of Bedulu Village, six kilometres out of central Ubud.1
- Lempayung Temple: Lempuyang Temple, locally referred to as Pura Lempuyang Luhur, is one of the Bali's ancient and highly worshipped temples, on par with Besakih (the ‘mother temple' of Bali). It is also believed to predate the majority of Hindu temples on the island.
- Pura Pentaran Sasih Temple: Pura Penataran Sasih is located six kms north-west of Gianyar and two kms north of Pejeng. It is commonly known as ‘The Moon Temple' and originated it's name from an ancient bronze kettle drum (or nekara) called ‘Moon of Pejeng' which is kept in it's inner chamber today.
- Taman Ayun Temple: It is a landmark in the village of Mengwi, Badung regency, located 17km northwest of Denpasar. This temple complex boasts magnificent traditional architectural features throughout its courtyards and enclosures as well as expansive garden landscapes comprised of lotus and fish ponds.