Surya Binayak - Bhaktapur

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September 16th 2008
Published: November 7th 2009
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This is a shrine of Ganesh, the elephant-headed God, situated in the beautiful surroundings of Bhadgaon, placed in a sylvan setting to catch the first rays of the rising sun. The view of the city of Bhaktapur is seen from here with snow-capped peaks in the background. Nestled in a thick forest, it is a good picnic spot flanked by many attractive landscapes.

For an easy stroll, go down to the highway past the trolley-bus and then head up hill. From here you can photograph an unbelievable view of the city backed by the movie-like sets of gigantic Himalayan peaks. Past this about twenty minutes lies the Surya Vinayak Ganesh temple. This is an auspicious place to start your exploring around Bhaktapur, because Ganesh is worshipped before starting any new endeavor. Here the elephant headed good is known as the ‘Sun Ganesh’, because this is the first place in the Valley that the suns rays hit each the Earth morning. People come here to pray if their children are having trouble learning how to speak, or for just about any activity that requires a little luck. At the top of the hill, a steep flight of stairs leads up to the shrine itself, which is set in a shady forest. Ganesh dwells beneath a golden torana and a big white shikhara. Mounted on a pillar in front of his image is a statue of a large and very realistic looking rat, the god’s vehicle.

At the top of the hill, about another five minute walk, is a shrine to Ganesh’s mother, Parvati. Surrounding the temple is a small beautiful forest. People from all over the Valley come and picnic here, especially on Tuesday, Ganesh’s auspicious day and Saturday. Don’t forget to bring Ganesh’s favorite offerings: radishes, ladoo and sesame seed balls.

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