The installation of the idol took place while the Vedic hymns were being chanted.
Annapurna Devi Idol in Varanasi: After a whopping 108 years, an idol of Hindu Goddess Annapurna Devi was brought back from Canada, and now, it has been installed at Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The installation took place on Monday and the ceremony was attended by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. According to a report in IE, the CM reached the city on Sunday night for a two-day visit. The idol was brought to Varanasi from Delhi in a four-day journey, and its procession to the temple was led by Yogi Adityanath and other Hindu religious leaders as well as state ministers. The installation of the idol took place while the Vedic hymns were being chanted.
The Chief Minister said that it was due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that ancient idols reflecting the glory of India were being brought back to the country. He added that in the past, idols and artefacts that showcased the heritage of India were stolen from India and then sold abroad, and said that since coming to power in 2014, the government led by PM Modi was making an effort to bring such idols and artefacts back and restoring them in their original places.
He said that the Annapurna Devi idol had gone missing from Kashi, and now, after 108 years, it was brought back from a museum in Canada “entirely” because of PM Modi. He also said that the PM has been able to bring back a whopping 156 idols and artefacts that had been smuggled out of the country.
The idol that has been installed at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple on Monday is carved in stone, and it features the Goddess carrying a spoon in one hand and a bowl of rice pudding or ‘Kheer’ in the other. This is symbolic because Annapurna Devi is the Goddess of food and nourishment as per the Hindu belief. The idol that had gone missing from Kashi over a century ago had ended up reaching the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Canada’s Saskatchewan. It was there as a part of the collection of University of Regina. However, last year in November, the university said that it had decided to return the idol to India as a part of a long overdue global conversation in which museums are looking to address the imperial legacies that still affect how they function.