Siva TemplesTamil Nadu

Food Abhishekam in Shiva Temples – Gangai Konda Cholapuram


The Pournima day of Thula month(6-Nov-14, Thursday) is celebrated as Annabhisheka in Shiva temples of south India.


Usually Abhisheka is conducted with Water, Milk, Honey etc. In Annabhisheka, abhishekam of food is done to Siva Linga. Annam means food in Sanskrit. Cooked rice is mixed with cooked vegetables. The Siva Linga is decorated first with rice and then with other vegetables and fruits. The arrangement is kept for 1-2 hours and followed by Maha Aarthi. Later, this food is distributed as prasad to all devotees and the poor and needy without ensuring any wastage.

In large temples, the the quantity of food prepared is very high. For example, in Brahadeeshwara temple in Thanjavur, the size of the Shiva linga itself 12.5 feet. Several bags of rice are prepared for this ritual and it involves participation from hundreds of devotees.

This puja is conducted as a universal prayer to the Lord asking him for abundance for food for everyone and to save the country from famines/drought.

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