Who is Annapurna?
Prayer Wheels. Photo courtesy of Mr Stewart
While on your Annapurna circuit treks you might find yourself wondering just who this Anna Purna is? The truth is that Annapurna wasn’t named after a person, but rather after Annapurna, the Hindu Goddess of nourishment. Anna means food or grains and the word purna means full or complete; we quite like the idea of walking a trail that literally translates to mean “full of food”.
Annapurna doesn’t just have a walking trail named after her; she’s also the guardian of the Holy City of Varanasi and it is in this city that the best known temple to her stands - the Kasi Viswanath Temple. Inside this temple, the idol of Annapurna is made from solid gold and carries a cooking pot; it is said that her devotees never suffer from starvation.
Annapurna is an incarnation of the Goddess Parvati, the wife of Shiva. Scenes in temples often depict Vishnu reaching out to Annapurna with his begging bowl, a human skull, asking her to provide him with food that will give him the energy to reach enlightenment. It is for this reason that pictures of Annapurna often decorate kitchens and restaurants, and indeed you will see them in numerous tea-houses while on your Annapurna circuit treks. One of Annapurna’s talents is the ability to provide an infinite amount of food, and with the Annapurna circuit known, amongst other things, for its tasty treats that include apple pies and delicious vegetarian curries, we can almost guarantee that you’ll be feeling ‘full of food’ after your trip.