Annapurna with Prabhavali

This is Annapurna, literally one who is full of food. Here she is shown with two hands holding a pot in her left hand and the spoon in her right hand which is held across her body.

The ornate prabhavali, single cast construction, detailing and the folk look stand out. And hence one more addition to the collection of Annapurnas on this site.

The most famous temple for Annapurna is in Benares (Varanasi) and the temple dates back to the 18th century. ” Her most popular festival takes place in the fall and celebrates her role as the sustainer of life. During the Annkuta (food mountain) festival, a mountain of food is indeed constructed and fills her temple’. From the book Hindu Goddesses Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition by David Kinsley. (Incidentally this book is one of the best I have read)

Annapurna is associated with Mahadevi, the Supreme Goddess. In Nepal Annapurna is considered Shiva’s consort.

It is interesting to note, the male counterpart for food is Vishnu. As the presiding deity of kitchen, Vishnu is called Annamurti. In Srirangam, in the main temple, there is a shrine dedicated to Annamurti.

I understood from my friends from Maharashtra, it is a common practice to present the new brides Vigrahas of crawling Krishna and Annapurna, wishing the couple children and plenty of food. That practice may explain the variety in the forms and the number of these Vigrahas.

The Vigraha is 6.5 cm in height and appears to be a single cast. This Vigraha is most likely from Kerala (Prabhavali design, face and the saree’s front fold) and it may be dated to the nineteenth century if not earlier.


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