Golden Temple Langar Ghar
What is Langar Ghar (Community Kitchen )?
Eating at the Langar Ghar of the Golden temple is a never miss opportunity. The practice of serving langar at Gurudwaras has been started by Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji (the first guru of the Sikhs) and it was carried forward by the Third Guru, Shiri Guru Amar Dass Ji. This tradition has been serving the community by upholding the humility in mankind.
Location of the Langar Ghar and its structure
The langar ghar at the golden temple is found next to the Dukh banjani Beri sahib and opposite to Manji sahib. You can reach up there by washing your feet from the pool of water outside the langar hall. It’s a triple-story building with an extra basement area. The building is adjoined with open verandahs and marble-clad spaces for the langar purpose and other spaces are for some smaller gatherings. The huge red-colored façade building is different from other buildings inside the golden temple. On the left-hand side, you will find the entrance gate. The view outside the langar ghar is phenomenal. The overjoyed excitement of people who have been serving there fills your heart with gratitude. Any gurudwara without the community kitchen is unthinkable.
Significance of Langar Ghar
The Langar Ghar across all the gurudwaras in the world reminds people that they all belong to the same family. Everyone should be treated equally without any discrimination irrespective of caste creed, sex, or belief system. It also shows the generosity and selflessness of the volunteers assisting in cooking, cutting, and chopping food. The tradition of eating langar also teaches the virtues of being the same for all human beings. In the langar ghar while taking the parshad (roti ) the two hands are joined together forming a cup shape, showing the humble nature of a man. The one who serves the langar keeps asking the parshad while saying “Waheguru -parshada”. This signifies respect for one and all who are sitting on the floor, irrespective of their faith. All are welcome to share the food under one roof.
From the religious point of view, it is said that a Sikh who can do well, must do something to help their neighbours. He must serve everyone who is coming to his home. So, this tradition of langar at all the gurdwaras continued with full faith and devotion that whoever comes in gurudwara shall not go without eating the langar prasad. Also, for the well-being of the community, a Sikh should contribute 1/10th ( daswand ) part of his earnings for the charity proceedings. Doing the service with his hands is most meritorious.
Preparation for the langar prasad
The food at the golden temple is usually prepared by hand, but during the rush hours, they make the rotis using the roti machine which has a capacity of making 25000 Rotis /hour. During normal days, more than 50000 people eat langar prasad at the golden temple, but on gurupurabs occasions, the number rose to 1,00,000. Huge vessels are used to make the langar in larger quantities. It’s amazing to see how the large crowd is served with pure love and devotion. The meal is prepared in 2 kitchens, Hot Tawas, Massive burners, machines for kneading the dough, and big utensils are used to serve the meal.
Pilgrims are astounded to see the huge raw material converted into parshad with enormous devotion. Daily about 50 quintals of wheat, 19 quintals of lentils, 15 quintals of rice, and 6 quintals of milk are used to prepare the langar prasad. Also, a hundred Gas cylinders are used to cook the langar prasad.
Distribution of the Langar Prasad
There are 2 separate halls where the pilgrims are supposed to come and sit on the floor to eat the langar. Once you enter the langar hall, the volunteers ask you for plates, bowls, and spoons. Sitting in the arranged lines, you have to ask for roti and daal with piety and gratitude. The basket is used to serve the roti. The buckets are filled with daal, chawal, and desserts sometimes. Water pots are used to serve water in the bowl. Hundreds of volunteers used to do this sewa every day with unpretentiousness and devotion.
Volunteering at Langar Hall
A hundred devotees do the task of cleaning and maintaining hygiene at the langar hall after the distribution of langar prasad. Any pilgrim can also volunteer for cooking, cutting, and making of the langar prasad. You can also do the task of cleaning the plates, bowls and spoons. Also, some volunteers stand outside the hall to collect the used dishes for putting them in the cleaning area. The dishes are washed twice to maintain hygiene. The round-the-clock sewa is done by hundreds of volunteers local or outstation visiting the Golden temple every day. All the langar sewa of preparation and maintenance is completed from the donation given by the pilgrims in cash or kind.