Ashok Kumar, a passionate philatelist from Lucknow at the age of 72, has uncovered a fascinating aspect of Lord Ganesha’s presence beyond the borders of India. Through his extensive collection of stamps and currency, he demonstrates that the iconic elephant-headed god is not only revered in India but holds a unique place in the cultural history of other nations as well.
Kumar shared a banknote from Indonesia, released in 1998, which prominently features an image of Lord Ganesha. He explained that in Indonesia, particularly in Bali, Lord Ganesha is an integral part of Balinese culture, deeply respected and incorporated into various ceremonies and rituals.
Similarly, he revealed that in Thailand, Lord Ganesha is known as Phra Pikanet and holds high regard. Kumar displayed a rare Thai coin from 2011 bearing an image of Lord Ganesha as evidence of this cultural connection.
All the images and artifacts shared by Kumar are from his extensive personal collection, nurtured over decades of pursuing his hobby. He is an esteemed member of the Lucknow Philatelic Society and the Numismatics Academy in Lucknow.
In addition to showcasing foreign stamps and currency featuring Lord Ganesha, Kumar also shared a special cover issued by the United States of America in 2010 to commemorate Ganesh Chaturthi. He further exhibited a specially designed card issued in 2022 from Pune, India, celebrating the Ganesha Festival.
Kumar’s dedication to philately and numismatics is evident in his personal museum, housed in his Gomti Nagar residence. The museum features an array of historical artifacts, including postage stamps dedicated to freedom fighters, miniature models, rare coins dating back to 600 BC, postcards from the time of Independence, and much more. Kumar mentioned that it took him nearly 45 years to amass this extraordinary collection, a labor of love that began in 1978. His museum is a testament to the rich and diverse world of collectibles, highlighting the global significance of Lord Ganesha.