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the golden temple and the langer of amritsar

a photographic essay by roy james shakespeare


the golden temple and the langer of amritsar

photographed by Roy James Shakespeare on the 25th December 2009


I stubled apon the free kitchen like many others before me not knowing it was there. The noice and the comotion is phenominal. The welcome very warm and the food simply healthy natural and free. Accommodation is also free like at every Gurdwara (sikh temple) throughout the world. Here is a detailed insight into the workings of the Langer over a 24 hour peoriod.

The Langar or free kitchen was started by the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the 15th centuary. Designed to uphold the principle of equality between all people of the world regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender or social status. In addition to the ideals of equality, the tradition of Langar expresses the ethics of sharing, community, inclusiveness and oneness of all humankind. “..the Light of God is in all hearts.” For the first time in history, Guruji designed an institution in which all people would sit on the floor together, as equals, to eat the same simple food. It is here that all people high or low, rich or poor, male or female, all sit in the same pangat (literally “row” or “line”) to share and enjoy the food together. The institution of Guru ka Langar has served the community in many ways. It has ensured the participation of women and children in a task of service for mankind. Women play an important role in the preparation of meals, and the children help in serving food to the pangat. Langar also teaches the etiquette of sitting and eating in a community situation, which has played a great part in upholding the virtue of sameness of all human beings; providing a welcome, secure and protected sanctuary. Everyone is welcome to share the Langar; no one is turned away. The doors are open 24 hours a day 365 days a year and food is available at all hours. The preparation, the cooking and the washing-up is done by volunteers and or by voluntary helpers (Sewadars). In the Golden Temple Community Kitchen an average of 50,000 devotees or tourists take langar in the Community Kitchen daily; but the number becomes almost double on special occasions. it is said that 5000 chipati are made every hour.


The free kitchen of Amritsa  

100's of 1000's of pilgrims eat for free

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