New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: 'Pran Pratishtha' of Maa Annapurna's idol is scheduled to be performed by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on November 15 in Kashi. According to Additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi the statue will be installed in Kashi Vishwanath Temple on November 15.

"Before this, as it is a proud moment for every Indian, the statue of Maa Annapurna will be received with fanfare at four places including Kasganj, Kanpur, Ayodhya and Kashi. People will be given an opportunity to do darshan," he added.

The grand celebrations to mark the handing over of the 18th-century idol of Maa Annapurna to the Uttar Pradesh government was attended by several Central ministers and state ministers in attendance in New Delhi. The event was the first such grand official handing over the statue retrieved from a foreign country by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The idol of Maa Annapurna was dressed in a red lehenga while a silver chhatri was placed on her head. The statue sat elegantly on a grand wooden throne and will cover the journey of 800 kilometres from Delhi to Kashi Vishwanath temple. The representatives from the Uttar Pradesh Government received the stone statue from the ASI after a religious ceremony amid the chanting of mantras. A Shobha yatra has been planned before it reaches the temple.

Central ministers who were present in the ceremony include Hardeep Singh Puri, Dharmendra Pradhan, Meenakshi Lekhi, Ashwani Kumar Choubey, Anupriya Patel, Smriti Irani, B L Verma, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Pankaj Chaudhary, Lt Gen V K Singh, G Kishen Reddy, Sanjeev Balyan, SPS Baghel, Mahendra Nath Pandey and UP ministers Suresh Rana, Bhupendra Choudhary and Baldev Aulakh registered their presence.

Maa Annapurna, is considered the Goddess of food and nourishment. The idol was received by India from Canada on October 15.

The idol is 17 cm in height, 9 cm in breadth and 4 cm in thickness. According to Union Minister G Kishan Reddy, 42 rare heritage artefacts have been returned to the country since 2014 during the tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Whereas between 1976 and 2013, only 13 rare statues and paintings could be brought to India.

At present, 157 sculptures and paintings have been identified abroad. Discussions are going on with several countries to bring them back to India. Efforts are on to bring idols from Singapore, Australia, Switzerland and Belgium. Efforts are also being made to bring about 100 idols from America.

(With ANI Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan