Ganesha was an important god in Southeast Asia; he is the Hindu elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati. As a deity who removes obstacles, Ganesha is a god of success; in this sense, he is a deity that has great importance in terms of everyday existence. He was venerated before turning to other gods, thus removing potential obstacles between the worshipper and the divine. In Southeast Asia, Ganesha had a more independent status than in India; his images were often housed in separate temples as primary icons of worship.
The vehicle of this enormous creature is the rat, implying the fusion of the great and small, a duality of macro- and microcosm that is also inherent in the combination of the elephant’s great strength with the intelligence of man.
The absence of a headdress and any arm or belt ornamentation indicates a pre-Angkor period. The well-proportioned head is beautifully modeled and details are still clearly visible. In his left hand he holds a bowl of sweets that he enjoys, his trunk dipping into the treat, and in his right hand he holds the broken-off tusk. Ganesha’s remaining tusk is intact but the natural fracture of the stone can be seen and follows a similar natural fracture in the trunk. The sculpture is in excellent condition and has had no repair.