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.
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.
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.
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.
- Sri Annapoorneshwari Lodge
- Bhadra Nivasa Lodge
- Kalaseshwara Temple, a famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated just 6 km from here.
- Sringeri a famous pilgrim place is located around 61 km from here.
- Dharamasthala is 108 km from Horanadu.
- Kollur Mukoombika Temple is 168km from Horanadu.
- Kukke Subramanya Temple is 176km from Horanadu.
- Famous mountain range in the Western Ghats Kuduremukh is 28 km from Horanadu.
- Gangamula birthplace of 3 famous rivers Tunga, Bhadra and Netravathi is located around 40 km.
An interesting story 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.
It is believed that one who prays to the deity with conviction will never face any food scarcity in his or her life.
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.
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.