present temple is surrounded by busy commercial establishments. As we proceed
passing through the shopping complex, we see Anna Purna temple on the right
side. It is small, but studded to the portals with very many adorable deities.
The images of Goddess in sitting posture with Maheswar standing with a bowl are
extremely grand and invoke instant veneration. There are many niches and
mandapas adorned with many deities. Offering Prayers we reach the garbhagriha
of Maheswar. The `sacred Phallus-Sivalinga is installed in a square shaped brass
plated hollow. Every one is allowed to offer prayers himself, though there are
Pandas, who conduct the entire ritual with chants, if required. Many prefer
personal prayers - pouring of the Gangajala on the Siva linga, waving of burning
camphor, after garlanding it. It is a rare privilege granted, and the performer
experiences an inexplicable thrill passing his spine, when uttered Harahar
Mahadevi after rituals. There are many more small shrines and several niches around
this holy shrine. A little beyond this, there lies the famous gnaga Vapi - well
of knowledge, where the diety entered, when iconoclasts destroyed the temple.
Behind the temple to the East,' near Jnana Vapi, there is the Mosque, built by
Aurangazeb. In the by-lane behind the temple, there is a temple of Dhundhiraja
Ganapati. Beliefs is current that he is the State officer of Varanasi, with
Bhairava as Kotwal, the chief police Officer, Lord Maheswar, the Emperor and
Annapurna, the Empness feeding the people. Feeling emancipated at the darsan of
Lord Maheswar and Goddess Annapurna, Yatris then go about visiting several
places scattered to the four comers of this sprawling city.