Whenever we think of free food, the first name that comes to our minds is of ‘The Golden Temple’, Amritsar. The largest free kitchen in the world is clearly one of its kinds. However, due to know that there are several other temples in India that offer free food to thousands of people on a daily basis. In fact, many of them have gained international recognition for their massive level of food preparations:
Let us have a look at few Indian temples that offer free food:
1) Tirupati Temple, Andhra Pradesh
Tirupati is one of the most famous temples of south India. Everyday free food also known as Annadanam is offered to thousands of pilgrims who visit the temple. The devotees who contribute to the Annadanam believe that offering food (to the needy) without expecting anything in return is the purest form of devotion.
2) ISKON Temple, Hubli, Karnataka
Akshaya Patra, an ISKON foundation is a non-profit organization that owns a mega-kitchen in Hubli, Karnataka. The kitchen is well-equipped to be able to produce food for 150,000 people in less than 5 hours. ISKON foundation runs the world’s largest school lunch program providing mid-day meals to several schools in rural areas providing the under-privileged kid a thing they need the most, free food!Vaishno Devi, Jammu
3) Vaishno Devi, Jammu
Trip to Vaishno Devi can be a tough one with several kilometres of trekking in a cold climate. The only thing apart from devotion that can make the journey more interesting and can keep you going is hot and fresh free food. You can enjoy free food at various checkpoints en route to Vaishno Devi. These free food check points are run by Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and are mostly funded by donations from devotees.
4) Jagannath temple, Puri, Orissa
Darshan to the famous Jagannath temple is not complete until you enjoy the ‘bhog’ prepared inside. Here the food is cooked and served in utensils made of clay. The temple serves as many as 25,000 people on a normal day and around 100,000 people on a festival day. Rice is prepared in a unique way where 7 clay pots with rice grains and water are kept one above the other. The pot which is closest to the flame will be cooked last while the rice on the top pot will be cooked first. Now that is some real miracle!
In addition to these, there are countless gurudwaras across the country where you can enjoy free langar throughout the year. India is clearly a land of charity, devotion and of course free food.