The Annapurna temple is located near the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi on Dashashwamedh road, Vishwanath gali. The Annapurna or Annapoorna Mata, the Goddess of Food or Nourishment (Anna means food and Purna means complete or full), Mata Parvati, is honoured in the Annapurna temple. In the Annapurna temple, there was a golden idol of Annapurna Mata. During Annacoot, the Annapurna temple attracts a large population of pilgrims. Every year, after Diwali, India celebrates the Annacoot festival.
HISTORY & SIGNIFICANCE
Lord Shiva once told Goddess Parvati that the entire universe is a deception, and food is a component of that deception known as ‘Maya.’ Mata Parvati, the Goddess of Food, grew enraged and felt compelled to demonstrate the importance of all thing’s material, so she erased everything from the planet. The soil had become sterile due to a lack of food, and everyone had suffered from severe hunger.
She had no choice but to resurface in the world after witnessing His disciples’ great yearning. She then built a kitchen in Varanasi, the holy city. Lord Shiva also approached Her and remarked, “I understand that the substance cannot be sent away as an illusion.” Mata Parvati was overjoyed and offered Lord Shiva food with her own hands. Since then, Mata Parvati has been revered as an Annapurna, or Goddess of Food.
Another legend about the Annapurna is that once Mata Parvathi had closed all of Lord Shiva’s eyes (three eyes: Sun, Moon, and Fire), the universe was completely dark. There was a ‘Pralaya’ condition, and the colour of Mata Parvati darkened as well (means She has lost Her Gauri Rupa). She was heartbroken and asked Lord Shiva how she might reclaim Gauri Rupa. Lord Shiva told Her that she should make Anna Dan in Kashi. Mata Parvati prepared Anna Dan in Varanasi using Her Annapurna Rupa and a golden pot and ladle. She was reunited with Gauri Rupa once more. Her devotees are said to perform Annapurna Pooja in Kashi by making Anna Dan.
Mata Parvati is known by several different names among Her devotees throughout the world. The Annapurna Shatanama Stotram contains 108 names, while the Annapurna Sahasranam contains one thousand Annapurna Mata names.
It is said that She does not eat even a small amount of food till Her worshippers have not been fed in Her shrine. The Annapurna Vrat Katha has a variety of stories that assist Her devotees in resolving their issues. The Annapurna temple is located next to the Kashi Viswanath temple in Varanasi. Annapurna Mata is known as the queen of Kashi, whereas Lord Shiva is known as the king of Kashi. Food is offered as a ‘Prasad’ to all the old, disabled, and other devotees in the Mata Annapurna temple every day at noon.
The tradition teaches us to live in harmony with one another. The food produced by the temple for the benefit of others is given as a gift or purchased with money donated to the temple as a gift. As the globe moves toward more capitalistic economies, such traditions are becoming increasingly important. The concentration of wealth in the hands of a few people makes it difficult for others to exist or even to meet their most basic needs for sustenance. Traditions like these abound in Indian culture, and they all attempt to create a more inclusive community. Such traditions abound not only in India but throughout the world, and they must be protected, whether in the name of religion or the name of mankind.
The temple is built in Nagara style and features a sanctuary with a massive pillared porch that houses a statue of Goddess Annapurna. The goddess is also represented by two icons, one made of gold and the other of brass, in the temple. Darshan of the brass icon is available daily (viewing & worship). Only once a year, on Annakut Day, may you see the gold icon.
HOW TO REACH?
D -9/1, Annapurna temple, is where Annapurna Devi can be found. Viswanath gali is the narrow road or gali that leads up to the temple. Please refer to the Visweshwar temple for instructions to the location. During the NAV Durga yatra in September – October, devotees worship this deity as one version of Durga. This deity is known as Mahagauri Durga and is worshipped on the 8th day of Navratri. From Varanasi Cantt Railway Station, anyone may take a vehicle to Kashi Vishwanath. Later, go to the temple while seeing Varanasi’s serpentine streets.
The Annapurna temple is open from 4:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
The time of Aarti here is 4:00 am.