The Golden Temple is an architectural wonder that shines not only for its brilliant color but for its ability to provide a service to everyone. Everyone is welcomed in this temple. There is no restriction on race, religion or sex.
The Langar, on the other hand, is a mammoth dining room attached to the kitchens of the complex. Since 1481, hot meals have been served, which is also called as “Langar”. The food is offered free of charge to all visitors without distinction of any kind.
Golden Temple – Largest and Special Kitchen Indeed:
The 1st guru of the Sikh community, Guru Nanak had started this tradition to serve a hot meal to all the people whoever visits Golden Temple. Free langers are provided to every Sikh Gurudwara around the world but Langar is the special and largest indeed. They serve 50,000 people a day and many times it reaches up to 1,00,000 people in a day.
Following are some facts which you need to know about the Langar at the Golden Temple -the largest free kitchen in the world.
Some Facts and Figures:
- The food is served free of charge to all visitors under the concept of “langar”, an idea instilled by Guru Nanak, a reference of the area, which encourages the philosophy of food for all, regardless of race, religion or color.
- It is necessary to cover your head before entering the kitchen.
- Usually, The Golden Temple’s Langar serves to 50,000 persons daily. But on some religious occasions and on holiday, this number reaches up to 1,00,000 people. The food is free for everyone, regardless of race, religion or color.
- Meals are vegetarian and simple. It usually consists Roties, a vegetable dish, Dall, Rice, and Kheer (Dessert).
- Langar has 2 dining halls. Combined capacities of these halls are 5,000 people. Many people arrive here and sit down on the mat and eat. Meals are served by the large numbers of volunteers.
- Serving to such a massive number of people is not at all an easy task. Almost 90% of the staff here are volunteers working alongside 300 permanent employees. The management of this staff makes this job simple. Some volunteer serves here for some hours, many people serve for a full day, and some for many days.
- There are 2 kitchens that consist 11 Tawa (Hot Plates), many burners, some machines for kneading and sieving dough.
- The Golden Temple has one Roti-making machine which was contributed by a Lebanese devotee. It has the capacity to make 25,000 Rotis in just one hour. They use this machine on religious occasions or on holidays when large numbers of people arrive here.
- Daily consumption of raw materials is also amazing – 5,000 Kilos of Wheat, 1,800 Kilos of Daal, 1,400 Kilos of Rice & 700 Kilos of Milk daily consumed here in the kitchen. About 100 cylinders are used to cook the food.
- All these raw materials come from Delhi. They also purchase some materials locally. They receive lots of donations in the form of cash or raw material daily.
- Standard cooking vessels are not sufficient to cook such a large quantity of food. So they use large-sized vessels that can store 700 kilos of Kheer or Daal at once!
- They also take care of the hygiene subject. Dirty plates are washed by another group of volunteers. They wash each plate 5 times before using it again.
Thus, the tradition of Langar at Golden Temple expresses the ethics of oneness, inclusiveness, community, and sharing.
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