Friday, October 25, 2013

Punjab-da-khana, 'Guru ka Langar'

So my last post about the Amritsar trip did turn a few heads on facebook, thanks to my using of Punjabi language in the title and my friends trying to correct it. What I learnt was- instead of ‘Weekend vich Amritsar di yatra’, the title should have read ‘Weekend ch Ambarsar di Yatra’. Thanks Megha, Megha’s Dad, Anirudh, Anirudh’s Mom and Dev for all the debatable corrections! :D
 
Our first Punjabi food stop- Bade Bhai ka Brothers' Dhaba, Near Town Hall, Amritsar
And now here I am for the second part of my Amritsar trip. Visiting Punjab and not savoring the delicious food? Well, that wasn’t going to be the case for us. Our first stop at Amritsar was the famous ‘Bade bhai ka Brothers Dhaba’ near the Town hall after crossing a temporary bridge made of soft drink crates to cross the flooded street outside. It was time for some authentic Punjabi food for us. Actually, almost all of us, because while we had the best Amritsari naans my youngest cousin chose to have a cheese pizza! Kids of today, haha…!



I had heard a lot about the famous ‘langar’ served at Delhi’s Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. I just had never had the food nor did I have any clue about the kind of food served. And so, when the prospect of having a meal at the ‘Guru ka Langar’ in Golden Temple came up, I was eager to experience it.

This was our second visit to the Golden Temple and the first during day time. The beauty of the place was worth capturing and our entire process of group pictures couldn’t be not repeated!

The Golden Temple, Amritsar

The Golden Temple, Amritsar
A huge crowd of people led us into the langar area. As we entered, old Sardarjis distributed steel plates for the food, a dish for water and a spoon, all from huge dish holders. I knew this was a photographic moment. We entered one of the huge halls to sit and have the food served. We sat in the carpeted spick and span floor and waited for the food to be served.

First of all, the water was served. And look at technology! Brakes (like those in cycles) controlled the flow of water from a trolley to the dishes of every person. Wow! The food was served next. One could have unlimited chapattis, daal and kheer, all for free! Soon we were on our way to the area where the plates were to be handed over for cleaning. This was where I had to stop myself from hurrying. I took my camera out and captured the entire food preparation process. Peeling of onions and garlic to cooking on HUGE cauldrons and the 5 stage dish washing procedure, I was amazed to see everything. Hundreds of people are involved in the entire cooking, serving and dish-cleaning process. I was overwhelmed with the entire management! Thousands of people served peacefully, without the slightest chaos! Wow! Take a look at these pictures...

Thalis (Plates) being handed over to the visitors; Guru ka Langar, The Golden Temple, Amritsar
Dishes for water being handed over; Guru ka Langar, The Golden Temple, Amritsar
A huge crowd of people leads me to one of the dining halls; Guru ka Langar, The Golden Temple, Amritsar
Everyone seated and waiting for the food to be served; Guru ka Langar, The Golden Temple, Amritsar
The techno-water serving machine; Guru ka Langar, The Golden Temple, Amritsar
Ladies pealing onions and garlic for the food; Guru ka Langar, The Golden Temple, Amritsar
Food being prepared in HUGE cauldrons; Guru ka Langar, The Golden Temple, Amritsar
Used plates being handed over for washing; Guru ka Langar, The Golden Temple, Amritsar
The 5 stage dish-washing process; Guru ka Langar, The Golden Temple, Amritsar
A few surprises awaited me this evening at the Wagah Border. I didn’t know that before the day ends, a new entry would have entered my bucket list and my Facebook check-in would show my location as ‘near Lahore, Pakistan’. Well I would keep it for my next post, because that’s one hell of a story to tell…!

8 comments :

  1. Even those two visits to Golden Temple were not enough for me to capture those wonderful detailed photos! (Whole of Langar Procedure is incredible)! Amritsari Naan is simply irresistible :P Waiting for the Wagah Border one :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment Shivam!
      Keep an eye for the next post. It should be up in a couple of days! :)

      Delete
  2. Nice! A langar really is a prime example of many working together as one well oiled machine, and all of it for the noblest of causes!

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  3. Similar langar like thing you can find in Mount Abu, Bhama Kumaris HQ and in Arabindo Ashram, Puducherry and in many other temples in India though in a smaller scale.In Mount Abu it is really well managed.

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  4. Fascinating post. Amritsar never fails to connect us with the Almighty. Similar was my experience when I visited Gurudwara Nada Sahib, Panchkula. The Langar preparation there got my eye and I couldn't help but make a video of it. Check it out. You'll love it. The day happens to be the eve of Guru Nanak Dev's Birthday.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMIeUrJlaMo

    ReplyDelete

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