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Annapurna Temple – Legend of the Food Goddess

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Located in Visheshwarganj adjacent to Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Annapurna temple is dedicated to Goddess Annapurna. With a golden ladle in one hand and a jewelled bowl of rice in another, Annapurna is regarded as the Goddess of food and nourishment. Annapurna (Anna means food and Purna means complete or full) never lets her devotees stay without food. She is an aspect of Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiv who has a significant role in the legend of this temple. She is also revered as the Goddess of Kashi who always protects the city.

Shiv and Annapurna

Annapurne Sada Purney Shankar Praana vallabhe Gyan Vairgya Siddhyatham Bhiksham Dehi Cha Parvati


This is how Shiv praised Parvati and asked her for food, knowledge, sanyasa & divine knowledge to become a complete one.

A pure Philosophical narration of Shaktya way (Goddess Worshiping) of Sanatan Dharm where Shiv is Shava (lifeless) & his union with shakti makes him The Shiv (Shankar).

The mythological landscape of Kashi went through a lot of changes 11th century onwards with the series of attacks, plunders & destruction of sacred temples. On the one hand, these attacks lead to damage to old temples but somehow these attacks resulted in the dislocation of sacred idols & emergence of new temples.

The Kashi Annapurna temple is one of them, there is no mention of Annapurna in the Puranas, although there are mentions of Bhavani Gauri as a consort of Visheswar & hence the chief goddess of Kashi.

But over the generation, the importance of Bhavani Gauri declined and the Goddess Annapurna took her place.

The temple gathers a huge crowd on the occasion of Annakoot, which is celebrated the day after Diwali every year. The golden icon of the Goddess can be only seen once a year on this day. Annakoot coins are distributed to all the devotees as a blessing of Goddess Annapurna.

Kashi Annapurna Temple

The Golden idol of Annapurna

Located adjacent to Kashi Vishwanath Temple, the Goddess is present with a golden ladle in one hand and a jeweled bowl of rice in another, Annapurna is regarded as the Goddess of food and nourishment. Annapurna (Anna means food and Purna means complete or full) never let her devotees stay without food. Even lord Vishwanath is depicted as a seeker in front of her, holding a trident in one hand and a bowl in another hand.

Annapurna Devi Mandir was constructed in 1729 A.D by Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao in Nagara architecture and the large-pillared sanctum houses the idol of Goddess Annapurna. The temple has two idols of the Goddess, one of brass which is available for daily Darshana, and the other one of gold which can be seen only once a year.

The temple was built in a panchayatan way with sanctums of Ganesha, Kubera, Surya, Yantreshwar Mahadev, SatyaNarayan, and Hanuman.

The temple gathers a huge crowd on the occasion of Annakoot, which is celebrated a day after Diwali every year and during Navratra in October & April. 

The temple houses a Golden image of Goddess Annapurna along with Bhu Devi & Sri Devi, located on the first floor of the temple complex. The darshan of this image is only available during the Deepawali festival (from Dhanteras to Annakoot) every year.

During the festival coins & Dhan are distributed to all the devotees as a blessing of Goddess Annapurna.

Bhavani Gauri: Presently situated in the Ram Mandir Complex (Adjacent to Kashi Annapurna Temple), a white marble idol on the wall, with Bhavaniswara on the raised platform. There is mention of Bhavani Tirtha – right in front of her.

 

(Bhavani tirtha is covered with marble floor & fighting for its existence)

Kashi Annapurna Annakhetra Trust

Temple trust runs a free kitchen for the devotees round the year so that no one stays hungry. Along with this, there is a range of social services – old age homes, medical clinics, woman empowerment workshops, free schools & orphanages are being run by the temple trust.

Legend of Goddess Annapurna

According to Hinduism, Shiv and Parvati are like the yin and yang of the Universe. Parvati being the Goddess of all the worldly things or moh-Maya while her consort, Shiv being the founder of yoga and spirituality. Once, Shiv and Parvati were having a conversation in which Shiv said that everything we possess was an illusion or Maya. Even the ‘food’ that we eat was just a part of Maya or materialistic pleasures. This enraged Goddess Parvati as calling food an illusion was like calling her an illusion. She decided to take away all kinds of things from the world in order to make Shiv and the world realize its importance. She wanted to see how will the world survive without food and by merely practicing yoga and meditation. Consequently, the earth became barren and people suffered famine. Everyone, including the Gods, humans and demons kept begging for food.

Shiv and annapurna devi as depicted in painting

The motherly love of Goddess Parvati couldn’t see her children die. So, she re-emerged as Maa Annapurna and started distributing food in Kashi. Even Shiv came to Kashi for sustenance and confessed his mistake. This made him realize that he is incomplete without Shakti and both Shiv and Shakti are equally vital for the world to exist. Since then Annapurna is worshipped as the Goddess of food and nourishment.

Where is Annapurna Temple Situated?

House No. D 9/1, Vishwanath Gali, 15 meters North-West of the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir. It is 5 km away from Varanasi Cantt railway station.

Nearby Temple – Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Ram Mandir, Yaksha Vinayak, Dhoondi Raj Vinayak, Saakshi Vinayak, Vishalakshi Devi, Kalika Dei Temple.

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