It has been a very auspicious summer for Šri Mahã Vallabha Ganapati Devasthãnam, or the Ganesh Temple of the Hindu Temple Society of North America, as it’s more commonly known. For one thing the temple on the outskirts of downtown Flushing celebrated its 40th birthday on July 4. And Sri Ganesh Chaturthi Nava-Dina Mahotsavam, a nine-day celebration of the elephant-headed deva’s birthday concludes this Sunday with a parade known as the Grand Ratha Yatra.
The festivities kick off at the temple at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow. Come a bit early and check out the arcade that has been decorated with images of Lord Ganesh and his favorite sweet ladoo, in such flavors as sesame, peanut, and dried fruit.
I won’t be able to make tomorrow’s parade, but I honored the remover of obstacles by purchasing some ladoo at Maharajah Sweets in Jackson Heights. The shop, which sells a wide variety of methi, sells five kinds of ladoo, including crumbly besan ladoo made with chickpea flour. Don’t worry if you can’t make it there this weekend, the shop sells Ganesh’s favorite snack year-round.
I’m always glad to visit Maharajah, but my favorite ladoo remains the one made by the staff of the Temple Canteen. Scented with ginger, and studded with cardamom, cloves, cashews, and almonds, it’s the loveliest ladoo of all. By the way the Ganesh Temple is just one of many places featured in my new guidebook 111 Places in Queens That You Must Not Miss, which drops later this year.
Ganesh Canteen, 45-57 Bowne St., Flushing, 718-460-8484
Maharajah Sweets, 73-10 37th Ave., Jackson Heights, 718-505-2680