On the east side of Kasthamandap in Kathmandu Durbar Square is a small but very important gilded temple known as Ashok Binayak or Maru Ganesh. The temple is a shirine dedicated to Maru Ganesh or Ashok Binayak (Vinayak ). While physically apart the Ashok Binayak is often thought to be a part of the overall Kasthamandap building.
It is unceratin how old Ashok Binayak is though it's often thought to have first been consctructed by Gundakama Deva in the 10th century. Historical evidence puts the gilded roof as a later addition in the 19th century.
Did you know?
Ganesh is thought afteras the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences along with being the deity of intellect and wisdom.
Opposite Ashok Binayak/Maru Ganesh is the deities gilded attendant (a small mouse/rat/shrew). You'll see it as an elongated mouse statue along the wall of Kasthamandap.
Around the shrine is a bell which is rung at the start of any puja. Ashok Binayak is therefore the first temple anyone visits during Puja in all Durbar Square.
The shrine is also used by anyone undertaking a journey to bring good luck. One simply circles the shrine and ring the bell. This ritual is popular with trekkers and as you might tell, from the constant stream of people, locals alike. There's a small bowl of tikka should anyone want to use it to bless themselves.
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