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Mahaprasad Types of Mahaprasad Kitchen of Lord
56 Bhogas of Lord

The Kitchen & the Cooking process

 Puri KitchenMahaprasad is cooked on such a large scale that it can always feed lakhs of devotees. The kitchen for this purpose is a massive one. The kitchen of  Lord Jagannath in fact is the largest in the world with a dimension of 150 by 100 feet in area and 250 earthen hearths inside. Six hundred suaras or cooks are engaged for the cooking and 400 helpers aid them.The temple of Lord Jagannath is in fact constructed in such a manner that every body visting the temple can have his food in the temple premises.

There are three types of chullahs/hearths called Anna Chullah, Ahia Chullah and Pitha Chullah. The hearths are hexagonal and the fire is lighted on the Nab chakra yantra according to tantric invocations and nine earthen pots are arranged at a time on the chullah. The chullahs are quite big, 4 by 2 and a half feet in diameter and are 2 feet deep. The middle portion is called Acchia where charcoal is burnt to cook the dal and curry. Cooking involves only steaming. Earthen pots are used for steaming ingredients and discarded after one use. The suaras/cooks and their assistants cover their mouths during the holy cooking so that no dirt falls into the food being prepared for the gods. This type of cooked food offering is called Sankhudi and if there is any untoward incident which results in defilement of  the food, it is buried and not used.

The fire used to light the heather in the kitchen of Lord Jagannth of Puri  is called the The Vaishnabagni. because it is the fire in the kitchen of Lord Jagannath, and used to serve Vishnu Himself. It is never put out. Charcoals are kept burning day and night by one worshipper, called AKHANDA MEKAPA.The water of two 100-foot deep wells, Ganga and Jamuna, inside the temple premises are used for the kitchen.

A view of the largest kichen in the world,the Jagannath temple of PuriIn the kitchen, food can be prepared for 1 lakh people. The prepared items are only boiled. Used excess water (Peja) is not dragged out. About 30 to 70 Quintals of Rice is used daily and on special occasions the quantity of Rice exceeds more than 100 Quintals. All vegetables except Potato, Boiled Rice, Dried Chilli, Oil, Bitter guard (Kalara), Cabbage, Onion, Garlic, Snake gourd (Chhachindra), Gourd (Lau), Ladies Finger (Bhendi), Tomato, Jhudangas, Sajana Chhuin, Milk made Sugar, Been, Carrot (Gajar) are used. Except the Suars and the priests, no one can touch the pots; otherwise they become unfit for presentation before the god and have to be thrown away. Once the food meant for offering to Lord Jagannath are ready, they are again offered to Goddess Bimala in the temple. Only after the Prasad is offered to Her, it becomes Mahaprasada.

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