Hindu Faithful Say Statue Sips Milk : Chatsworth: To the delight of watchers, a small stone image of the elephant god Ganesha appears to accept spoonfuls of liquid.


They came from all over Los Angeles County to the small temple sandwiched between Marv’s Car Wash and an income tax service Thursday to see what many regarded as a genuine miracle on Devonshire Street.

To the astonishment of many, a small stone statue of the Hindu elephant god Ganesha appeared to drink milk from a spoon, replicating a phenomenon reported recently from India to Indonesia to San Francisco.

“It’s just incredible,” said Natasha Mirpuri, 27, as she watched worshipers gingerly place a teaspoon of milk to the stone statue inside the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center. The milk slowly vanished. “Is it holy? Yeah, I think it is.”


Garbed in a variety of outfits, from traditional Indian clothing to Harley-Davidson T-shirts to professional button-down shirts and slacks, over 50 people crammed into the small temple Thursday night and waited in line to place the spoon to the elephant. Some offered platters of fruits as tribute; some left dollar bills.

“It’s exciting to me, to feed one of the gods,” said Rahul Mohan, 7, as he patiently waited his turn.

Dinesh Lankhanpal, president of the temple, fed the statue on his way to work Thursday morning after a relative called him from India. To his surprise, he said, the statue drank the milk. He said hundreds came to the temple all day Thursday, lured by word of mouth, phone calls from India, or reports on CNN.

“He is drinking the milk and it’s a good sign of prosperity,” said Lankhanpal of Granada Hills. “That’s a good sign for the world.”

Lankhanpal, an engineer, discounted explanations for the phenomenon that he said he has heard reported from experts: that the milk ran down the sides of the statues, which only appeared to consume it.

“I am a scientist myself,” he said. “I am surprised.”

As was Usha Patel, who came to the temple Thursday night from Rosemead with her husband and 15-month-old granddaughter Prital.


“It’s great. My God, I cannot believe it,” she said moments after holding a spoon to the statue’s mouth, Prital resting in her arms.

Why did she bring her granddaughter? “What do you think?” she said. “It’s so important to us--if he can drink the milk . . ..” She trailed off, her wrinkled face lit by a wide grin.

Lankhanpal said he expects even more worshipers today.. “This is the beginning,” he said. “I think the news is going to go around the world and people will start coming.”