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‘Idol of Devi Annapurna to be returned by Canada’

  • Category
    Art and culture
  • Published
    8th Dec, 2020

PM Modi has announced that a very old idol of Devi Annapurna that was stolen from a temple in Kashi, Varanasi, about 100 years ago, is being returned by Canada.

Context

PM Modi has announced that a very old idol of Devi Annapurna that was stolen from a temple in Kashi, Varanasi, about 100 years ago, is being returned by Canada.

About

  • Annapurna or Annapoorna, from Sanskrit meaning the giver of food and nourishment) is the Hindu goddess of nourishment.
  • She is an avatar (form) of Parvati, the wife of Shiva
  • Located on the Dashashwamedh Road in Vishwanath Gali, near Kashi Vishwanath temple, the Annapurna Temple worships the Mahagauri form of Durga.

The story of Devi Annapurna

  • As per the popular legend and holy writ, Hindu deity Shiva, negated the importance of food, citing it as a cosmic illusion.
  • Hearing this, his spouse, Devi Parvati, the manifestation of Universal Shakti, got upset.
  • In order to teach Lord Shiva that food is an integral part of life, she made herself invisible to his eyes, and with her vanished all sources of food and nourishment from the earth.
  • Finally, Shiva realised the importance of food; holding a begging bowl in his hands, he begged for food as alms from his spouse Parvati, whose another form is Annapurna (the giver of food and nourishment).

Where is it now?

  • The 18th-century idol of Goddess Annapurna was reportedly housed in Canada’s MacKenzie Art Gallery all these years.
  • This idol was stolen from a temple in Varanasi and smuggled out of the country around 100 years ago somewhere around 1913.
  • Over the past few months, the United Kingdom has also returned a couple of ancient statues that belonged to India, such as a 10th century Lord Shiva idol and three ancient idols of Lord Rama, Lakshman, and Sita that had got stolen.
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