Goddess Annapoorna is a Hindu Deity of Khasi now known as Varanasi in the State of Uttar Pradesh in India, the exact location being Vishwanath gully. When Lord Shiva, Her Consort conveyed that food was also an illusion, She disagreed and disappeared, causing untold sufferings to all living beings including Lord Shiva, due to hunger. But because of her unstinted compassion towards all living things, she reappeared on Earth and organized a kitchen in Varanasi.
Lord Shiva heard about it and sought alms from Her agreeing that food could not be treated as an illusion. Matha Parvathi Devi gave Him food and then reunited with Him. So, in Varanasi she is known as Annapoorna. If you split the name as Anna and Poorna, Anna will mean “food” and poorna means “full” i.e. complete food.
In Varanasi Her consort Lord Shiva is known as Visweshwara. Nearer to the sanctum of Goddess Annapoorani Devi, Kasi Viswanath temple is located. Her idol holds golden ladle in Her right hand and delicious hot food on left hand. Goddess Annapurna Devi is worshipped with Her one thousand one hundred and eight names.
All devout Hindus offer their prayers to Annapurana Devi daily, before eating food and few highly orthodox Hindus, keep the idol in their rice box. Annapoorana Jayanthi is celebrated normally during Markhazhi month (somewhere between December and January) with full fasting and serving food to the needy.
While pooja is performed regularly in morning and evening, annathanam (issue of free meals) is conducted every day in the afternoon after the pooja. For any Hindu, life is not complete, without praying at Varanasi and Rameshwaram. During their pilgrimage, all Hindus make it mandatory to visit Goddess Annapoorani and Visweshwara temples at Varanasi, before proceeding to southern part of India – Rameshwaram.