Each of the three heads of Ganesha is adorned with a beautiful crown (Karandamakuta) and chains around the frontal humps. The eyes are open; the forehead of the central head is incised with a flower in the shape of an urna, between the eyebrows. The trunk of the central head is turned on the proper left side holding a mango with its tip. The central head has two tusks of unequal length. The upper portion of the trunk is encircled by a beautiful chain with a pendent. The trunks of the side heads are raised up and each one has a tusk. The neck of the central head is also adorned with a necklace.
Trimukha Ganesha has been mentioned in the Ganesalilarnavanataka of Maharajah Serfoji II (1736-1739 A.D.), a play written in 18th century mentions that sage Narada intervenes in Act III of the play and explains that the three faces of Trimukha Ganapati had appeared to kill the demon Sindhu, who had imprisoned the god Indra. The three heads represent the god Vishnu in the center, Siva to the left and the creator Brahma to the right.
Icono-plastically, Trimukha Ganesha in known in India since ancient times. But its earliest representations are very few. A stele near the temple of Pisacamo cana, Varanasi (U.P.) is perhaps the oldest one. It belongs to the period of 14th century A.D. The antiquity and iconography of the image was pointed out by P.K. Agarwal in his article, "Some Varansi images of Ganapati and their iconographical problem," in Artibus Asiae, Vol. XXXIX, pp. 139-155. Another example of Trimukha Ganesha belonging to the easily period in from Karnataka. The temple of Kolaramma, in Kolar, Karnataka, has a composite representation of a three faced Ganesha in terracotta belonging to the period of 14th cent. A.D. The central face represents Ganesha, Hanuman to the right and Garuda, the vehicle of Vishnu to the left. Trimukha Ganesha is also mentioned in a 19th century illustrated manuscript of the Sritattvanidhi, preserved in the university of Mysore.
D.N. Bakshi, Hindu Divinities in Japanese Buddhist Pantheon, Calcutta, 1979.
Paul Martin-Dubost, Ganesa: the enchanter of the three worlds, Mumbai, 1977.
R.C. Majumdar (ed.), The age of imperial Kanauj, Bombay, 1955.