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Shri Annapurna Temple: The Temple of Goddess of Food





ABOUT ANNAPURNA TEMPLE VARANASI

Varanasi is a city renowned for its spiritual significance and the presence of numerous temples along the banks of the Ganga river. The Annapurna Devi Temple is located near the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi on Dashashwamedh road, Vishwanath gali. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Annapurna, who is believed to be the provider of food and nourishment. Devotees visit the temple to seek the blessings of the goddess and offer prayers for sustenance and abundance in their lives.  

HISTORY OF MAA ANNAPURNA TEMPLE VARANASI

The Annapurna temple was built in 1729 A.D by the Maratha “Peshwa Baji Rao”.

Once upon a time Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati were engaged in a game of dice and to make the game interesting Lord Shiva offered to bet. Devi Parvati won the game and Lord Shiva lost all his possessions such as his serpents, his skull bowl, his rudraksha beads, etc in each game. After he lost everything to Devi Parvati, Lord Vishnu appeared and offered to help Lord Shiva to win back all his positions with his leela. After seeing this Devi Parvati grew suspicious and became so angry that Lord Vishnu had to appear and confess that he manipulated the game to help Lord shiva win his position back. Since the dice did not move according to the game so neither of them won or lost the game, making the game an illusion.

Lord Shiva explained that life is illusion just like the game of dice, unpredictable and beyond our control, even nature and food is Maya. This enriched Devi Parvati who is the soul of prakriti or nature she said if I’m illusion let me see how the world survives without me and seeing so she disappeared from the world her disappearance ruin the earth. The animals, birds and human beings suffered and begged for mercy to the God. After seeing this Devi Parvati’s heart melted and she embodied as Devi Annapurna. Anna means “food” and Purna means “filled”. She set up a kitchen in Kashi also known as Varanasi and fed everyone. Lord Shiva himself appeared with his skull bowl and asked if they would be Annapurna for food, Devi Annapurna fed Lord Shiva with her own hands.

Since then Devi Annapurna is called with a prayer before her devotees eat any food.

DURATION OF THE ANNAPURNA DEVI TEMPLE VISIT

The duration of visit to Shree Annapurna Mandir can vary depending on individual  preferences and the level of exploration desired. On average, a visit to the temple can take around 30 mins to an hour. However this estimate does not count the factors such as waiting time, participation in religious rituals. 

During your visit, you can spend time in the temple premises, offer prayers and observe the architectural beauty and religious ambience. The devotees offer food  or donation to the temple as a gesture of gratitude to the  goddess Annapurna.

LOCATION OF ANNAPURNA TEMPLE VARANASI

Maa Annapurna Mandir is located near the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi on Dashashwamedh road, Vishwanath gali.The temple is situated in this area, which is known for its religious significance and historical charm. 

To reach the temple you can use various modes of transportation available in Varanasi such as taxis, auto-rickshaw, or cycle- rickshaw. It is advisable to consult a local map or seek assistance from locals.

ARCHITECTURE OF THE ANNAPURNA DEVI TEMPLE

Shree Annapurna mandir in Varanasi showcases traditional Indian temple architecture. The entrance gate serves as the gateway to the temple complex. The gate may feature decorative arches, sculpture, or carvings. The temple complex includes a pillared hall or mandapa which serves as a gathering space for devotees. Religious ceremonies and rituals also take place here. The main temple structure is usually characterized by a towering spire called a Gopuram or Shikara. 

At the heart of the temple is a holy place where the main deity is enshrined. The main Deity is dressed on the throne and is depicted with a jeweled ball in one hand and a ladle in another, dressed in golden clothes and ornaments. She looks beautiful with the crescent moon adorning her forehead. 

The exterior and interior walls of the temple may feature intricate carvings depicting scenes from Hindu mythology, floral motifs and geometric patterns. These carvings often showcase the skill and craftsmanship of the artisans.

Nagara style of architecture has been used to make the temple. There are two idols of goddess Annapurna, one is brass and the other is gold. The gold can be seen on the day of Annakoot day once in a year and brass can be seen every day.

MYTHOLOGICAL FACTS OF THE ANNAPURNA DEVI TEMPLE

Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati were engaged in a game of dice to make the game interesting Lord Shiva offered to bet, Devi Parvati won the game and Lord Shiva lost all his possessions on after another his serpents his skull bowl his rudraksha beads in each game but after he lost everything to Devi Parvati Lord Vishnu appeared and offered to help, Lord Shiva win back all his positions due to Lord Vishnu’s leela after seeing this Devi Parvati grew suspicious and become angry so Lord Vishu appeared and confessed that he manipulated the game to help Lord shiva win his positions back and since the dice not moved according to the game so neither of them had won or lost the game the game was an illusion.

Lord Shiva explained that life is and illusion just like the game of dice unpredictable and beyond our control even nature and food is Maya this enriched Devi Parvati who is the soul of prakriti or nature she said if I’m illusion let me see how the world survives without me and seeing so she disappeared from the world her disappearance ruin the earth. The animals, birds and human beings suffered and begged for mercy to the God after seeing Devi Parvati’s heart melted. She was embodied as Devi Annapurna. Anna means “food” and Purna means “filled”. She set up a kitchen in Kashi also known as Varanasi and fed everyone. Lord Shiva himself appeared with his skull bowl and asked if they would be Annapurna for food, Devi Annapurna fed Lord Shiva with her own hands.

The devotees in Kashi believe that Kashi is the home of Goddess Annapurna, so no one ever sleeps hungry in this city.

TIMINGS OF THE ANNAPURNA TEMPLE

TEMPLE OPENING TIME
4:00 AM - 11:30 AM
7:00 PM - 11:00 PM

AARTI TIME
4:00 AM - 5:00 AM

SANDHYA AARTI TIME
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

FOOD SERVED
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

HISTORY OF FOOD WORSHIP

Worship of the goddess of food is important in today's world, when farmers fight in India, take their own lives frequently, and two-thirds of the world suffers from hunger. Worship of food goddesses is more appropriate in countries where agriculture is the main industry and financed primarily by rainfall. Even in ancient times, India was an agricultural country that relied heavily on food. Devotion to Goddess Annapurna is very important because food is necessary for the survival of human beings, and even the smallest members of this planet.

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is located near the Annapurna Temple. During Annakta, which is celebrated after Diwali, coins of different order are distributed to devotees and it is believed that whoever worships these coins can obtain prosperity and fulfillment of all wishes. You can enjoy the crowd of worshipers. There was a golden idol in the temple. India was historically rich in gold and silver, so gold was used for most religious and luxury items. Due to the religious intolerance of foreign invaders, the country lost all its wealth and its temples were stolen. Most people hold the view that Goddess Annapurna prevents starvation and starvation in the city of Varanasi.

WEATHER AND CLIMATE IN THE ANNAPURNA TEMPLE

Shree Annapurna devi Mandir is located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. The city experiences a subtropical climate with distinct seasons.

SUMMER (APRIL - JUNE)- Summer in Varanasi is hot and dry. The heat can be quite intense, especially during May and June, making it uncomfortable for outdoor activities.

MONSOON (JULY - SEPTEMBER)- Varanasi experiences a monsoon season characterized by heavy rainfall, which can sometimes lead to waterlogging and flooding in low-lying areas. It is advisable to carry an umbrella and raincoat.

AUTUMN (OCTOBER - NOVEMBER)- It is generally a good time to visit the Annapurna Temple, as the weather is relatively comfortable, and the rainfall decreases.

WINTER (DECEMBER - FEBRUARY)- Winters in Varanasi are cool and comfortable. It is advisable to carry some warm clothing.

BEST TIME TO VISIT THE ANNAPURNA DEVI TEMPLE

The best and  most favorable time to visit the temple is on Diwali and Annakut festival; lakhs of people visit the shrine of the goddess Annapurna at this time of the year. It’s advisable if you want to ignore the crowd, plan your trip in the Winter season like (November- December).

HOW TO REACH THE ANNAPURNA DEVI TEMPLE VARANASI

The Annapurna Devi temple is situated in a spiritual place Varanasi. 
There are three ways to reach-

BY AIR- The quickest way to travel from Delhi to Varanasi is by taking flight. You can book your flight from INDIRA GANDHI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (DEL) TO LAL BAHADUR SHASHTRI (VNS) in VARANASI. From the airport it's 25.1km to the temple so you can take a taxi or cab to reach the Annapurna temple.

BY TRAIN- Varanasi is well- connected to Delhi by train. Several trains operate from this route including overnight trains. From Varanasi Junction it’s 4.0 km to the temple so you can take a taxi or any local transportation to reach the Annapurna temple.

BY ROAD- You can also travel from Delhi to Varanasi by road. The distance between the two cities is approximately 815 kms (506 miles) and the journey takes around 12-14 hours by car or bus, depending on the traffic and route taken. If you are taking bus service to reach Varanasi, the bus stand is 3.6 kms to the temple, so from there you can use local transportation to reach the temple.

ACCOMMODATION NEAR THE ANNAPURNA TEMPLE

There are different types of accommodation available near the temple. 

Varanasi city center is best for Hotels or Guesthouses, it offers convenience and easy access to various attractions including temples. Popular areas in Varanasi include Dashashwamedh Ghat, Assi Ghat, and Godowlia. 

Varanasi is known for the Ashrams that offer affordable accommodation options, often located close to the ghats. Some of them have basic amenities but provide a spiritual and immense experience. 

There are several Dharamshalas ( Pilgrim guesthouses) near the Vishwanath Temple that provide basic accommodation facilities at affordable prices. These include Kashi Annapurna Bhavan, Sri Vishwanath Temple Trust Dharamshala, and Sri Kashi Vishwanath Gaudiya Math and Jaipuria Dharamshala.  

Varanasi has some Budget Friendly Hostels that provide affordable accommodation options, especially popular among Budget Travels, backpackers. There are some Hostels : Zostel, Wander Stationen, Moustache.

Tent city conceptualized on Ganga river banks to top potential of tourism in the region. It provides accommodation facilities and caters. It is developed by Varanasi Development Authority. It has Swiss cottages, art gallery, library, gaming zone, restaurants, dining areas, conference facilities, spa and yoga studios. It will be operational from October to June every year.

ATTRACTIONS NEAR THE  ANNAPURNA TEMPLE

  • Kashi Vishwanath temple (400 m)
  • Dashashwamedh ghat (700 m)
  • Manikarnika Ghat (750 m)
  • Sankat Mochan Hanuman temple (3.9 km)
  • Assi Ghat (3.1km)
  • Banaras Hindu University (6.5 km)
  • Ramnagar Fort (6.9 km)
  • Sarnath (9.0 km)

DO’S AND DON’T IN ANNAPURNA TEMPLE

DO’S IN ANNAPURNA TEMPLE VARANASI

  • Worship, offer prayers, participate in religious rituals and seek blessings from Goddess Annapurna . 
  • Temple conducts several aarti throughout the day. You can join the devotees in the aarti ceremonies and experience the divine experience.
  • You can seek guidance and blessing from the presiding deity.
  • Devotees often make donations, offer food, or contribute to the temple’s charitable activities as a way of expressing their devotion.
  • The temple premises provide a serene and spiritual ambience where you can find quiet corners to meditate, reflect and connect with the divine.
  • You can eat food in the temple from 9AM - 3PM.
  • You can do some beautiful street shopping. There are many amazing markets. 
  • Try some famous local cuisine which is Kachori Sabzi, Baati Chokha, Chena Dahi Vada, Choora matar, Malaiyyo, Rabri Jalebi. DON’T FORGET TO EAT “BANARSI PAAN”.

DON’T IN  ANNAPURNA TEMPLE VARANASI

  • Photography and the use of electronic devices are generally prohibited inside the temple premises to maintain the sanctity of the place and avoid distraction.
  • Visitors are required to remove their shoes or any form of footwear before entering the temple complex.
  • The temple authorities have specific rules regarding items that are not allowed inside the temple premise, such as leather products, tobacco, alcohol, and non- vegetarian food. 
  • Inappropriate behavior or any form of disturbance is not tolerated.
  • Unless permitted, avoid touching any sacred objects or offerings  within the temple

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