Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple – Goddess of Food and Nourishment
- 1 Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple – Goddess of Food and Nourishment
The Adhishakthyathmaka Sri Annapoorneshwari Temple, more popularly known as The Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple is located on the banks of River Bhadra in Horanadu among the beautiful hills and valleys of the Western Ghats of Karnataka. The town of Horanadu is also known as “Sri Kshethra Horanadu” in respect of Sri Annapoorneshwari.
The word Annapoorna can be seen as a conjunction of two words- Anna meaning food or grains and Purna meaning complete and perfect. Sri Annapoorneshwari is the Goddess of food and nourishment. She is considered to be an avatar of Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva. Her importance can be gauged by the fact that she is praised and glorified in several ancient scriptures like Annapurnamantratsava, Maha Tripurasiddhanta, Annapurna Kavacha, Annapurnahavamti, Annapurnamalininaksatramalika, Bhairvahyantantra, Rudrayamala, and Sivarahasya, Even though she is widely worshiped by people, only a few temples are dedicated to her as the presiding deity. The other famous Temples dedicated to Sri Annapoorneshwari are the Annapoorna Devi mandir and the Kasi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi.
To visit the Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple, devotees have to climb a few steps to reach the main temple complex. The Gopuram of the Temple is adorned with various sculptures of Gods and Goddesses. A mandapam can be seen on the left of the main entrance. A queue complex next to the Mandapam is present for entry into the main hall where Annadanam is conducted every day. Towards the back of the Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple, a commercial complex of four to five shops is present that sell Pooja materials as well as small toys and gifts from Horanadu. The main temple is small but well organized. The ceilings of the temple are carved meticulously.
The idol of the main deity of the Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple, Sri Annapoorneshwari is made of gold. The Goddess has a standing posture with four hands, each holding a Shanka, Chakra, Sri Chakra and Devi Gayathri.
History and Legend
- Though the exact date of construction of the Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple is unknown, it is believed that the original temple was small and consecrated by the holy Sage Agasthya himself.
- The Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple was small and inconspicuous until the fifth Dharmakartharu Sri D.B. Venkatasubba Jois renovated the Temple following the Vaastu Shilpa and Astrology.
- The Punarprathisthapan of Sri Annapoorneshwari took place in 1973 and the Mahakumbhabhishekam was performed by Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Abhinava Vidyathirtha Mahaswamiji of Sringeri Sharada Peetham, Sringeri.
- The sixth Dharmakartharu constructed the Navagraha Temple. He also established the steam cooking system in the Temple Kitchen, Annachathra, and Guesthouses for pilgrims and the labor colony.
- An interesting legend associated with the Goddess Annapoorneshwari is that of her spat with Lord Shiva regarding the importance of food in one’s life. As per the legend, Shiva and Parvathi were playing the game of dice. Shiva lost all that he possessed to Parvati during the game. A humiliated Shiva was asked by Vishnu to play again. On his advice, Shiva played again and won everything back. Parvati became suspicious and an argument ensued between Shiva and Parvati. Vishnu intervened and stated that the moves were made by him whereas Shiva and Parvati were playing an illusion.
- Lord Shiva proposed that everything is temporary like a Maya or an illusion. He concluded that Food is also an illusion and a Maya. Goddess Parvati disagreed and to prove that food is not an illusion, she disappeared. As a result, nature became still, seasons stopped changing and new plant growth stopped. The land eventually became barren and drought ensued. Everyone including humans, animals and demons prayed for food. Lord Shiva soon realized the importance of food and recognized it as a basic need for all creatures in the world.
- Goddess Parvati, taking pity on everyone, appeared in Kashi (Varanasi) and started distributing food. Lord Shiva appeared before her with a begging bowl, seeing which Goddess Parvati fed him with her ladle. Since then, Goddess Parvati is worshiped as Annapoorneshwari.
Significance of the Temple
- All the visitors irrespective of religion, caste or creed are served with a three-course vegetarian meal for free. The pilgrims are served thrice a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are also provided with Tea and Coffee in the evening for free.
- It is believed that one who prays to the deity with conviction will never face any food scarcity in his or her life.
- Aksharabhyasam and Namakarna – The pilgrims can perform the Namakarnam ritual (Naming of a newborn) and the Aksharabhyasam ritual at the Temple. The Aksharabhyasam ritual involves writing the name of Lord Ganapathi and Lord Saraswathi on an offering of Rice amidst the chanting of mantras and shlokas.
- It is considered to be auspicious to perform Annadanam for people with the blessings of Goddess Annapoorneshwari. They are absolved of their sins and will never go hungry in their life.
Horanadu Temple Timings
- The Horanadu Temple opens at 6am and closes at 9pm. The afternoon darshan break is from 2pm to 4pm.
- The Maha Mangala Aarti takes place at 9 AM, 1:30 PM and 9 PM every day.
- The Kumkumarchana takes place from 11 AM to 1 PM and from 7 PM to 8:30 PM daily.
- The Prasada Bhojana or the Annadanam takes place from 12 PM to 3 PM and from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM.
The male devotees have to remove their shirts and vests before entering the Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple complex. It is preferred to wear a towel or shawl that covers their shoulders. There is no particular dress code for women but it is recommended to wear decent apparel.
Poojas and Rituals
The list of Poojas can be divided into the Daily Sevas, Friday Sevas and Yearly Sevas.
The Daily Sevas are as below:
- Maharangapooja – This is also known as the Deepardhana. A devotee can perform it by obtaining a receipt of Rs. 500.
- Panchamruthanhishekam – The Goddess is bathed with Milk, honey, curd, sugar, and ghee. The cost for this Seva is Rs. 30 for all days except for Friday.
- Kumkumarchana – The Kumkum Archana is done especially for the Goddesses. Kumkum and Turmeric are the main materials with which the Aarti is performed. The cost is Rs. 40.
- Annadana Seva for one day – A devotee can perform the Annadanam (donation of food) for one full day for Rs. 5000.
- Navagraha Pooja – The Pooja is performed for the Navagrahas (nine gods representing the planets). The cost of the Seva is Rs.300.
- Sri Sathyaganesha Vratha – The Seva can be performed by a devotee for Rs.250.
Special Sevas are performed for Fridays:
- Shukravara Seva – In this Seva, the Kumkumarchana will be performed for the Goddess on any one Friday of the month for twelve months in a year. The minimum amount payable for the service is Rs. 500.
- Hunmine or the Amavasya Seva – The Kumkumarchana will be performed on every Amavasya of the month for one year. The minimum amount payable is Rs. 500.
Special Homam Sevas can be performed at the Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple. They are as below:
- Sri Mahachandika Homam – The Homam is performed in dedication to Goddess Shakti or Chandi. It is believed that one can attain health, wealth and prosperity by performing the Homam. One will also be relieved of evil forces, curses and obstacles in their lives. The Homam is done by experts chanting the Slokas of 13 chapters of Durga Saptashati. Several poojas like the Ganapathi Pooja, Kanya Pooja, Kalasa Sthapana and Saptashati Parayanam are also performed. The temple charges 15000 for the service and the Temple should be informed 2 months in advance.
- Sri Mahaganapathi Homam – The Homam is performed before the beginning of any pursuit in life. It is believed that Lord Ganapathi removes any obstacles in the way of the goal of a person. The Homam is also performed for seeking spiritual blessings. The Temple charges Rs. 12000 for the Seva and the booking must be done 2 months in advance.
Some yearly Sevas are also performed. They are as below
- Varshika Seva – The Annadana for 25 persons will be performed on a particular day every year up to 4 years only like Marriages, Birthdays, and anniversaries. The minimum charge for the service is Rs. 2000.
- Shashwatha Annadana Seva – A devotee can provide Annadanam for a batch on one special day every year of his or her life. The minimum amount payable is Rs. 100000.
Festivals celebrated at the Temple
- Navaratri – The festival is celebrated in September – October with great fanfare and pomp. The festival lasts for 9 days during which the nine forms of Durga are celebrated. The nine forms are Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kusmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri. On the tenth day of Vijayadasami, the Chandika Homam is performed for the Goddess.
- Akshaya Thadige – The Akshaya Thadige or the Akshaya Tritiya is celebrated in April – May. The day is considered as the birth date of Goddess Annapoorneshwari. The day also signifies the beginning of summer and the end of winters. The day marks the beginning of the Treta Yuga. It is believed that there are no ill or bad timings in the entire day.
- Rathotsava – The Rathotsava is a Temple festival celebrated in February – March. The festival is celebrated for 5 days. The Ganapathi Pooja, Ganapathi Homam, and Maha Ranga Pooja are performed on the first day. The Dhwajarohana and Pushpakarohana are performed on the second day followed by the Brahmotsava and Rathotsava on the third day.
Besides the above festivals, Deepavali, Shankara Jayanti, and Havi are also celebrated with great fervor.
How to reach: Road, Rail and Air
- By Air – The nearest airport is the Mangalore Domestic Airport. Regular flights are available from cities like Bengaluru, Chennai
- By Rail – Shimoga is the nearest railway station, situated at a distance of 127 km. Regular State Government operated buses are available from Shimoga to Horanadu. Shimoga is well connected to trains from Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune and Mangalore.
- By Road – The hill town of Horanadu can be reached by buses from cities like Bengaluru, Mysore, Shimoga, and Mangalore.
Sringeri to Horanadu
- The only way to travel from Sringeri to Horanadu is by Road. There are buses and private taxis available. The distance between the two places is around 45 kms and takes 1:15 hours.
Bangalore to Horanadu
- By Air – Fly from Bangalore to Mangalore. Sringeri can be reached by Road from Mangalore. It is around 120kms and takes 2:30 hours.
- By Rail – Mangalore and Shimoga are the nearest Railway stations.
- By Road – Regular buses are available from Bangalore. It takes around 7:30 hours.
Hotels in Horanadu: Where to stay
The Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple administration has constructed the Bhadra Nivasa Lodge near the Temple premises. The devotees can book rooms here at nominal rates. The room options vary from double bed standard to AC. The Suites are also available for larger families. The requirement of Identity Cards is a must for booking accommodation in the Lodge. Hot water and generator facilities are provided for certain hours every day. For online booking and related queries, one can visit the link http://srikshetrahoranadu.com/
Several private Homestays are present around the hilly town of Horanadu like the Nature Valley Homestay, Suprabha Residency, and Sri Devi Comforts. However, they are situated at a distance from the Temple.
Where to eat
The Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple provides Annadanam to the pilgrims every day in the afternoon and the evening. The meal is vegetarian with a desert too. Besides this, a few small hotels can be visited outside the Temple Complex.
- Sri Kalaseshwara Temple – The Temple is located 8 km away from Horanadu in the town of Kalasa. The town is home to the Kalasheshwara Temple. The Temple is surrounded by the Bhadra River on 3 sides giving the land where the temple is built, a pot-like shape. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to legends, Sage Agasthya made Kalasa as his home but wanted to witness the wedding of Shiva and Parvathi. Lord Shiva obliged and gave a boon to Agasthya using which he was able to watch the wedding from Kalasa.
- Sringeri Sharada Peetham – The holy town of Sringeri is located at a distance of about 70 km from Horanadu. The Temple was the first of the four Ammaya Peetham established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century AD. Sri Sharadamba believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Saraswati is the presiding deity of the Temple.
- Dharmasthala – This 800-year-old Temple institution is situated at a distance of 108 km from Horanadu. The presiding deities are Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi and the Jain Tirthankara Chandraprabha. The Temple is one of the most revered sites of pilgrimage in Karnataka. The uniqueness lies in the fact that the Temple is a Shiva Temple, the priests are Vaishnavites and the Administration is run by a Jain family.
- Kollur Mookambigai Temple – The famous and revered Sri Mookambikai Temple is located in Kollur which is 168 km from Horanadu. The presiding deity is Goddess Mookambikai also known as Devi and in front of her idol, is a Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. The unique feature of the Linga is that it is divided into two unequal parts – The Smaller right part represents Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and the larger Left part represents Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati.
- Kukke Subramanya Temple – The Temple is located in the town of Subramanya which is 176 km away from Horanadu. The presiding deity is Lord Karthikeya worshiped as Subramanya. It is believed that the divine serpent Vasuki was safeguarded by Lord Subramanya when they were threatened by Garuda.