January 2015 brought about a Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art Board outing to the Hindu Temple Society of North America, aka the NY Ganesh Temple in Flushing, Queens. Board members attending were President Helaine Dandrea, Peg Harrington, Kathleen Xi, Lee Fiorino, Nancy Benbow and Executive Director Meg Ventrudo. Lou Pillarella, a long-time supporter of the Tibetan Museum and participant on the Museum’s recent trips to Tibet and Nepal, arranged the outing for the group. Lou has just been nominated as a potential new board member and the trip helped the group get better acquainted with him.

Museum Board Members and the Spouses and Mr. GP outside the Temple.

Museum Board Members and the Spouses and Mr. GP outside the Temple.

We had a personal tour with Mr. G.P. the Secretary of the Society, who took us through the various holy altars and explained the meaning and nuances of all that was in use in this very active Hindu Temple. It was amazing to see so many Hindu Gods and Goddesses intricately carved from black granite. He also explained to us that all of the Gods and Goddesses had the title “Sri” as an honorific. Similar to Buddhist deities in the monasteries of Tibet, all of the statues wore colorful garments.

Exterior Roof of the Ganesh Temple.

As it is a place of religious worship we were not able to photograph the internal shrines but captured some exterior views. This trip was an ongoing example of our board’s commitment to continuing the education of our board members in the concepts and materials of the Himalayan Community.

Board Members at the entry way to the temple.

Some members of the group, including myself, Meg, Lou, and Leela, visited similar Ganesh Temples during our trip to Nepal in September of 2014.

Ganesh Statue, Kathmandu, Nepal

At the conclusion of our visit, the group celebrated at the Ganesh Temple Canteen with a traditional meal of dosas, tea, and mango lassi.

Detail of Ganesh sculpture in entryway to the Temple.

Blog written by Peggy Harrington, Secretary Board of Trustees.