A rare murti (popular but misleading translation: idol) of Goddess Annapurna, stolen from Varanasi about 100 years ago and retrieved from Canada recently, will be installed at the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple on 15 November.
The union government will hand over the murti to the Uttar Pradesh government on 11 November at an event in Delhi. Union Minister of State Meenakshi Lekhi on 11 November said that the government will hand over the murti of Ma Annapurna to the Uttar Pradesh government today.
Lekhi said, “An idol of Maa Annapurna, which was stolen from Varanasi about 100 years ago was retrieved from Canada recently. The idol will be installed at Kashi Vishwanath Temple on 15 November. The government of India will hand over the idol of Maa Annapurna to the Uttar Pradesh government today.”
Lekhi offered prayers to the deity today at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi. Later in the day, the murti will be taken from Delhi to Aligarh. From there it will be taken to Kanauj on 12 November and it will finally reach Ayodhya on 14 November.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will consecrate the murti at Kashi Vishwanath Temple on 15 November. The murti 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 murtis from Singapore, Australia, Switzerland and Belgium. Efforts are on to bring about 100 murtis from America.