The tradition of Langar was started in the year 1481 by the first guru of the Sikhs. You will be surprised to know that the Golden Temple in Amritsar organises langar every single day where they serve free hot meals to over 100,000 people on a daily basis. The doors for the langar is open to people from all religions and faiths.
The Langar Of Golden Temple Is Truly Special
Photo by jasleen_kaur
Most of you would know about the tradition of free langars at all Sikh gurudwaras. In fact now the Sikhs have even taken this tradition to the other parts of world. Langar is served in most of the Gurudwaras usually on Sundays, but the Langar at Golden temple is just not another langar. I would say it is the father of all Langars, no wonder this is so special. Thinking what I am trying to say, Langar at Golden temple is organised every single day of the week.
Langar is for the people, made by the people. You will be surprised to see the number of devoted volunteers who actively take part to do what they call as Sewa. They prepare food with much love and unity here.
Acclaimed As The Largest Free Kitchen In The World
Photo by vlauria
With over two hundred thousand number of roti’s i.e. the Indian flat bread and around 1.5 tonnes of dal being made every single day. This Langar serves hot and fresh food for free to 100,000 people each day irrespective of their caste, creed and religion. It is said at the Langar no one goes back hungry. This is what makes this this kitchen the largest free kitchen in the world. This kitchen located in the western Indian city of Amritsar truly stands strong and apart from all.
So don’t you want to know some really special things about the Langar of the Golden Temple? Here we go –
10 Interesting Things About The Langar At The Golden Temple:
Photo by harrydp_2001
1. Serving 100,000 people every single day
The langar at the Golden Temple is known for serving huge crowd of people every single day. On a normal day around 50,000 relish free meals here, this count goes upto 100,000 on holidays or festivals days.
2. The typical vegetarian meal
Food served in the langar is vegetarian. These meals are simple, nutritious and wholesome. A typical meal at the langar consists of roti’s (Indian flat bread) and rice, dal (lentils soup), a vegetable dish, and kheer (rice pudding).
Photo by kvirk
3. Dining Halls
With a capacity of accommodating around 5000 people each the kitchen at the Golden temple has two dining halls. Devotees who visit the Golden temple ensure to eat at the langar; they sit down to eat on the mats placed on the floor. Food here is served by the volunteers.
4. The Workforce
Serving 100,000 people in one single day is not an easy thing to do. This is the reason the sewadars (workers) deserve a mention. End number of people volunteer as sewadars and make this whole task really simple. There are some 300 people as permanent sewadars; these people ensure that the food is cooked on time and ready to serve. These 300 sewadars are just 10% of the actual workforce; the other 90% are the volunteers who either volunteer for a few hours, a day or for days on end!
Photo by kvirk
5. The Magical Kitchen
Food is prepared in two kitchens. These kitchens have 11 tawas (hot plates), many burners for cooking, equipment for dough sieving and kneading, and end number of utensils. All the food is cooked by the sewadars with their hands.
6. The Roti Making Machine
During the normal says the numbers of devotees visiting the Golden temple are less in number. But during special religious occasions and holidays the number of devotees visiting here is massive. During such occasions a roti making machine is used to serve the massive crowd. This machine was donated by a devotee who is Lebanon based. This machine can make some 25,000 roti’s within an hour. Isn’t that great?
Photo by BOMBMAN
7. Raw Materials For The Langar
Keeping the massive number of diners in mind, think how much raw material would be needed to actually prepare this Langar. Here is a snap shot
- Wheat – 50 quintals
- Rice – 14 quintals
- Dal and Pulses – 18 quintals
- Milk – 7 quintals
- Gas Cylinders – Over one hundred
8. Purchase Of Raw Materials
These raw materials are brought from the capital city and some of the ingredients are even bought locally. Huge amount of donations are made to the kitchen, both in cash and in kind.
Photo by harrydp_2001
9. The Gigantic Vessels
To prepare food for 100,000 people, normal cooking vessels don’t serve the purpose. To suit the needs of this mega kitchen, large vats are used so that cooking of vast quantities of food can be done at one time. These vats can store around 7 quintals of Daal or pulses at one time.
We have always seen crowded places to be low on the hygiene meter. But at this kitchen hygiene is given utmost importance. This is both before the meal and after the meal. Dirty plates are washed by volunteers and guess what each and every plate is washed some 5 times before it is reused.
It is just not the beauty of the Golden temple at the Harmandir Sahib, but the purity of the hearts visiting this place. It is the generosity and the selflessness of the volunteers that makes this place truly a golden beauty in all ways. I feel it is just not the temple that is made of gold, but even the hearts of every person who volunteers here is made of gold and packed with purity.
Have you tasted the meal at the Langar in the Golden Temple? Why don’t you share your experiences with us? Simply drop is a comment below. We would be glad to get inputs from you too, feel free to tell us more interesting things about this mega kitchen of India.
Featured Photo by kvirk
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