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The Golden Temple has the World's Biggest Communal Kitchen that operates 24×7 and serves about 100,000 people each day.

Langar means "free food for all". Langar is served by the community kitchens at all gurudwaras regardless of caste, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnicity. The idea behind langar is equality and "the light of God is in all hearts." Langar Sewa was started by the First Guru of Sikhs- Guru Nanak Ji. The meaning behind langar teaches us to come together, sit alongside each and eat as equals, no one has a higher status than another while sitting in the langar. It is a sanctuary of all where all are welcome, treated, and protected equally. The place where the food is cooked in Gurudwaras is referred to as "Communal Kitchen", which is usually managed by the volunteers, who do all the work from cutting vegetables, serving food to washing the dirty dishes. The notable fact about Langar is that all the food that is served is vegetarian, simple, and nutritionally balanced with roti, vegetable dish, lentils, and dessert.

The story behind Langar

The first Guru of Sikhs- Guru Nanak Ji started Langar in the Golden Temple located in Amritsar, Punjab. But what gave him the idea of feeding people all equally? The story goes as when Guru Nanak Ji was a child his father who was a well-known trader in his village gave Guru Nanak 20 rupees and asked him to go to the market and do 'Sacha Sauda' (a good bargain). His father wanted Guru Nanak who was then only a 12-year-old boy about their family business. So, did Guru Nanak went and did some worldly bargain in the market? No, instead he bought food with the money and fed a large group of saints who had been hungry for days and that is what he called was the "true business". The holy book of Sikhism "The Guru Granth Sahib" is kept in all gurudwaras, it contains numerous meaningful teachings of the Guru and is worshiped by the Sikhs. The three main pillars of Sikhism, "Naam Japo" "Kirat Karo" and "Vand chakho" (meditate the Guru's name, lead an honest life and earn an honest and dedicated living by walking on the path that the Gurus have made for us, share what you eat respectively) are the reason why humanity, equality and serving those in need are the primary actions taken by any Gurudrawa.


The langar uses large vats that can store as much as 7 quintals of daal at a time. The volunteers working in the communal kitchen inspire selfless service for everyone outside their community and the outside world.homeneardarbarsahib.com

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Expansion of Langar

The Second Guru – Guru Angad Singh Ji took the initiative of langar i.e. "Satvik Meal" (free vegetarian food) for all and turned it into an all Sikh Gurudwaras' premise by establishing communal kitchens in all the gurudwaras. He set rules and training methods for all the Sevadaars (volunteers) who operate the kitchen. The Third Guru, Guru Amar Das Ji formally established the system as he believed that anyone who wished to have an audience with him first must have their stomach filled hence, must sit with the community and have langar. Even the Mughal King Akbar had to sit with ordinary people and share langar to meet up with the Guru. This depicts how langar is blind to any form of social status, religion, gender, and economic situation.

In today's date, Langar is served in all gurudwaras all over the world. The volunteers working in the communal kitchen inspire selfless service not just for their community but for everyone outside their community and towards the world outside as well. The Golden Temple in Amritsar Punjab is referred to as World Headquarter for Sikhism and has the World's Biggest Communal Kitchen that operates 24×7 and serves about 100,000 people each day.

ALSO READ: The free Kitchen open to people of every religion: Guru ka langar

What is the point of Langar?

The Langar served in gurudwaras not only aims to serve food to all, treat everyone with equality, respect and kindness; it is also about the act of selfless- service after all the people working in the communal kitchen are no one but Sevadaars(volunteers) who not only involve men and boys but also women and children. Women play a major role in the preparation of all the meals for langar, and children serve food to people sitting to be served. Langar is a medium to pass on our culture and tradition to the next generation one after another. The tradition reassures that we remain bonded with our dignified past as we move on to the modernized future.


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