The Svayambhu Ganesh in Adasa

We arrived at Adasa as dusk was starting to settle and the sun was setting behind the clouds. I wanted to show my sister the huge orange Lord Ganesh, up high, on the side of a mountain, above the sweeping blanket of rural Maharashtra. I had visited Adasa when I was pregnant, it was nice to see it again, and Rohan could see how the place looked from outside. Adasa is one of the most peaceful places around (except when there is a festival dedicated to Lord Ganesh being celebrated, then it’s hectic busy).

adasa elephant

A sign post near the temple said that the twenty-foot Lord Ganesh was ancient and Svayambhu. I wondered what that meant so I asked my husband once we were back, luckily he is pretty good when it comes to Sanskrit.‘Svayam’ means self and ‘bhu’ means earth or established. So, this meant that the image of Lord Ganesh came out of the mountain itself, it wasn’t man made.

It’s interesting, the shapes we see in nature, the patterns our eyes find. When I was a child, I used to love looking for things in cloud formations. There is even a scientific word for it, simulacrum. I always thought the things I saw in clouds had a special meaning. Someone must have came across the image of Lord Ganesh in the mountain, felt profoundly moved, and built a temple around him.



The Lord Ganesh of Adasa is an example of one of the twelve images of the Lord described in the Ganesha Purana (religious text dedicated to Lord Ganesh), his trunk turned to the right. He is buried below the navel, above the ground he stands 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide (the sign I mentioned above told me).

adasa ganpati bappa

Sammy enjoyed the trip and Rohan got to see happy Mr. Mouse, Lord Ganesh’s vehicle, standing outside the temple!



There are many Svayambhu temples across India. One I really would like to visit is on the coastal side of Maharashtra. It’s called Ganpatipule and stands on a beautiful beach, local legend dictates that the image of Lord Ganesh was found in the sand over 400 years ago. Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it?


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  1. I think the way you are carrying your kid in a sort of bag is putting a lot of pressure in his neck and consequently because of the tender ness of muscles he may develop a cognitive difficulty later because the way that wrap putting pressure to the neck of rohan he may have difficulty in breathing. So less amount of oxygen is going to brain and consequently less growth of brain.
    It also can result in deformity of legs and back.
    Please do take a notice of these problems.


      • Hi Lauren,
        How do most women in India carry or transport their babies? I would have thought that the method you use would be quite common there, compared to in the West.


      • On their hips.
        Babywearing in India is growing in awareness in places like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. They even have babywearing groups and go on walks together. I would love that!

        I saw it a lot in the U.K. and obviously read extensively about the health and safety of it all. Hoping you are well xx


      • Yes, babywearing is certainly becoming more popular in the UK, whereas it used to be more of a hippy/alternative thing. But I had imagined that it was a traditional method adopted from the East, as it seems very practical, leaving both hands free, whilst keeping the baby feeling snug and able to sleep.
        When I was in West Africa, where mothers tie their babies on their backs, and the babies do not wear nappies, I always wondered about when the babies had a poo or wee!
        (I’m not on Instagram, so can’t leave a comment there, but just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy seeing all the photos you post on there. You look so much happier in your own skin since Rohan arrived. It’s a pleasure to see.)
        Lots of love, Nicola xxx


      • Thank you so much, Nicola 😀
        Babywearing is extremely practical. I left my wrap in the car the other day and it was such a struggle to take Rohan on his afternoon walk without it! My arms kept aching so much, I owe babywearing so much. It really helped me feel like an independent mother 😀
        I’ve been to Ghana and noticed the same, nappies aren’t really used here in India either, for various reasons. Preferring the method of ‘elimination communication’. Rohan uses cloth diapers.
        Lots of love xx


    • Dear Garga,
      Baby wearing had its roots in india too. You can find traditional baby wearers all over our tea gardens in Assam. Contrary to your belief, it’s totally healthy if carried in ergonomic carriers like the one shown in pic.moreover keeping the baby calm and happy. It’s a beautiful experience indeed. Do try with carriers like ergo, boba, Tula, onbu etc, if you have a baby.
      Read more.


      • Thank you, Alokanada!
        I really want to make it to Assam one day soon and see this for myself, I find everything ‘babywearing’ so fascinating! I hope you are well!
        Take care 😀 xx


  2. Many times people make a judgement about everything instead of asking a questions first…. Garga made a statement which can be interpreted as that “Lauren is not careful in taking care of Rohan… bad mom”…. Instead of that she should have ask questions if she is seeing something for first time ” whether it is comfortable for babies etc.. “… and should be very careful in using words like “bag” while being used in context of a child……really hurtful for any mom….

    Garga might not have that intention, but she should be careful in writing

    Lauren is a great MOM.


  3. @Lauren

    There are many stories where people found idols, stones or a log was found and shore and later carved into idols. There are lots and lots of temples in India someone discovered a cave and later it become a temple. Some divine force took people to these place. Anyhow, India is a land of legends. The most famous example of Swayambhu temples is the Amarnath Cave Temple in Jammu and Kashmir. In this cave, snow falls through the ceiling of the cave to form a huge Shiv Lingam. Every years thousands of devotees throng this inhospitable area for a darshan of Lord Shiva.

    The second is the Jwala Devi Temple at Kangra in Himachal Pradesh where natural gas erupts from the rocks to create flames. These flames represent Goddess Durga. Definitely Swayambhu

    Actually, there is tour which covers all the nine forms of goddess durga in different parts of north india, you can go for it if you want. There are lots of temples in Maharashtra including the Shridi Sai temple. Since you have special affection for Goddess Durga, I suggest you visit the Vaishno Devi Temple which is the most famous temple dedicated to the Goddess in Jammu & Kashmir. I don’t know whether it is popular with Marathis. In north india it has got rock star status. You have to climb a mountain to the shrine. You would love It. I think Rohan would also love the fresh mountain air.

    I guess lot of places to visit.


  4. Nice to see you fall in love with Elephant god. If you planning to visit Ganpatipule try to include Ashtavinayaka in your itinerary.


  5. Hi write so well.Its so good to know that you put in so much of effort to learn about our culture and our religion.Your blog is so informative. ..Some things even I didn’t know being an Indian and an Hindu. .but gaining knowledge thanks to you. The pictures you put are colourful and pretty too. Was really curious to you watch Hindi movies? Any you listen to Hindi movie and devotional songs.


      • I love the old SRK movies too! I couldn’t choose between Dil Se and DDLJ. Anyway, back to the other kind of idols, in Malaysia I know there are svayambhu temples too, but I’d have to ask my mother which ones!
        The Adasa temple looks really lovely. The photo with Mr Mouse is very sweet, with Rohan peeking up from his little snug.


  6. Since long I ve been trying to remember the temple I visited with my family on my 5th bday and the pic of the idol brought back a long lost memory…this was the temple…nagpur is my birth city and i ve spent many summers there being my mom’s hometown…


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