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1001 Stories Collection

The Marriage of Ganesh

1001 marriageofganesh
Added on 01st July 2020

Oral tradition A Hindu story

Asia Family Myths and legends
1001 , Audio , Text , Storymap

Ganesh wins a race around the world by travelling in his imagination.


Ganesh and his brother Karthikeya competed in a race around the world for the hand of two princesses, Buddhi and Siddhi. Karthikeya set off immediately, running up the Himalayan mountains, through the rice fields of China, and traversing the Amazon rainforest. When he finally returned home, after his long and arduous journey, he found Ganesh right where he had left him: in the library. Ganesh explained that he had seen the whole world, just as his brother had, through reading books and using his imagination.

Why we chose it

The Marriage of Ganesh was one of the stories in The Story Museum original audio story collection. These stories are particularly suitable for learning to re-tell.

Where it came from

Ganesh, or Ganesha, is the elephant-headed god of Hindu mythology. He traditionally regarded as the son of Shiva and Parvati (although sometimes Parvati alone), and the god of intellectuals, bankers, scribes, and authors. The Marriage of Ganesh highlights the god’s association with wisdom, and there are several variations on the tale. In one, rather than using books, Ganesh uses his cunning. He shrewdly embraces, or in some versions walks around, his parents, because they represent the whole world. After being declared the winner, Ganesh marries Buddhi and Siddhi and has two sons.

Where it went next

The Marriage of Ganesh is frequently anthologised, and a written version of the story called Armchair Traveller can be found in Geraldine McCaughrean’s Myths and Legends of the World. Ganesh is one of the most popular Hindu gods, celebrated across the different strands of Hinduism, as well as in Buddhism and Jainism. He is traditionally worshipped before embarking on a new enterprise and is celebrated during the annual ten-day festival Ganesha Charturthi.

Associated stories

There are a number of stories about Ganesh. Other famous tales include that of his birth, his appetite, how he got his elephant head, his broken tusk, and his bandicoot rat vehicle. Hungry Ganesh is also included in the 1001 stories.

Added on 01st July 2020

Oral tradition A Hindu story

Asia Family Myths and legends
1001 , Audio , Text , Storymap

Story Resources

  • The Marriage Of Ganesh story map PDF (420.7 KB)
  • The Marriage Of Ganesh story text PDF (183.243 KB)