Like many communities in the world, religion is an important part of the culture in Thailand. Almost 95% of the population in the country is Buddhist, but there are other religions represented as well, including Hinduism. One of the largest statues in the world is of the Hindu god Ganesh, which is located about an hour and a half from Bangkok in Chachoengsao.
Who is Ganesh?
Ganesh, also spelled as Ganesha, is one of the most recognized gods outside of India and is known as the Lord of Good Fortune. He provides believers with prosperity, good fortune, and success. His appearance is one of an elephant’s head on top of a human’s body, and the body features four distinct arms. Although he is a Hindu god, Buddhists also pay their respects to Ganesh.
Ganesh International Park
The world’s largest bronze statue of Ganesh resides at the International Park at Amphoe Khlong Khuean, which is still undergoing development in Chachoengsao. Ganesh Thailand is helping to raise funds for further construction of the park, which will benefit the entire region. Chachoengsao is mainly an agricultural area, so you will find many of the area’s products on sale when you visit the development.
While you’re visiting Ganesh in Chachoengsao (พระพิฆเนศฉะเชิงเทรา), you can meditate alone or take part in the daily worship ceremonies. The park, which opened in 2009, offers a market area where local residents bring agricultural goods or OTOP (one product to sell). Some of the items you will find for sale are fresh coconuts, mangos, and other local produce.
If you need a Ganesh of your own to worship, the on-site shop has them for rent and other souvenirs for sale. The proceeds help in developing the park as one of the most holy sites in the world for Hindus and others who want to worship Ganesh. The website for Ganesh Thailand has more information about the future plans for the park.
How to Get to Chachoengsao
If you are visiting Bangkok and want to go to Chachoengsao, you can either go by bus or by train. The train will be the quickest way to get there because they leave Bangkok on an hourly basis all day long. The fare is cheap as well because you can travel third class for only 13 baht, which is around 40 cents USD.
The buses leave on a regular basis as well, about every hour and a half from the eastern terminal in Bangkok. A bus trip takes about two and a half hours. Fortunately, the buses are air-conditioned and the cost is minimal at 40 baht, which is about $1.15 USD. They leave beginning at 7 a.m. every day and the last bus returns from Chachoengsao to Bangkok at 6 p.m.
If you want to experience some of Thailand’s religious culture, then going to the International Park is the way to go. You can buy local goods to help support the community, or simply worship Ganesh as many others do.