Stone and bronze statues found in excavations suggest that Ganesha arrived in Cambodia around the 6th or 7th century, long before the vast, powerful Khmer Empire co-opted Hinduism and Buddhism as its official religions. Temple inscriptions in eastern Cambodia’s Champa region suggest that Shiva worship was widely prevalent.
Cambodia’s early Ganesha closely resembled Gupta representations – large, fan-shaped ears, no headgear, two arms and only slightly pot-bellied. Strangely, other Indian representations like the Nritta Ganapati, Ganesha with his consorts or parents failed to reach Cambodia during the Khmer era.
Innumerable Ganesha idols have also been unearthed in Vietnam, once part of the Khmer Empire. They can be seen in the Cham Museum of Art, Danang and Saigon Museum. In both Cambodia and Vietnam, Ganesha continues to inspire artisans who produce images in varying forms.