Under the same banner of ‘Cultural Trip’, this time we had an interesting menu in our program. We were driven off to the ancient places of Thailand.
It was fortunate for me to be the part of this troop that solely comprised of more than 75 foreign students. The visit to the Wat Samanrattaram temple where a huge Lord Ganesh stands was amazing. Lord Ganesh is believed to be the ‘God of wisdom, knowledge and new beginnings”.
The mythology in Hindu has it that, this God with an Elephant head, was crafted by Goddess Parvati (wife of Lord Shiva) in order to guard her while taking bath. Since she had nobody around, she fetched some turmeric paste used for bathing to create into a figure and then breathe a life into it (Ganesh). Keeping the figure near the door, she is said to have instructed him to prohibit the entrance of any visitors inside her abode until she is done with the bathing and then she fled the scene.
In the due course of time, the Lord Shiva was returning home but only to be stopped by Ganesh. The enraged Shiva cut off his head and killed him on the spot. On hearing the story by Goddess Parvati, she was so infuriated that she decided to ruin all the creations of the Universe.
Lord Shiva then immediately instructed his followers to fetch the head of the first creature they meet which is facing north. This creature happened to be an elephant which was then sacrificed. The Lord Shiva replaced Lord Ganesh’s head with that of an elephant and this is how Lord Ganesh is visible with an elephant head even today.
Following the visit of Lord Ganesh, we lunched at Baan Mai market that was comparatively ancient in Thailand in terms of settlement and architecture. This modern part of the Kingdom was still accommodating the ancient structures vividly. Next we visited the admirable Wat Sothorn Wararam Warawihan decorated with a huge Chinese Temple. Passing by the souvenirs shop at Tang Seng Jua was yet another exciting moment on that day.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”- Anonymous