Prasada or Prasadams is a religious offering to the gods. The practice of offering food to the deities is prevalent in Hinduism. Usually, the worshippers consume the offering after puja/aarti is over. By feeding the Gods and eating their leftovers, men and women ensure the stability of this symbiotic relationship.
Prasada is offered in Hindu temple as holy and divine gifts from the gods that are blessings which shouldn’t be refused. I shouldn’t be saying this, but all Prasadams in temples are Yummy and refusing that would be silly. Let me tell you about the best Prasadams at Indian temples. (Alphabetically)
Alagar Kovil, Tamilnadu:
This temple is situated 21 km from Madurai. Many farmers in the area bring grains such as rice and pulses to the temple as offerings which are then made into crispy dosas as Pasadam. And to have these Prasadams you have to be blessed.
Chinese Kali Temple, Kolkatta:
One different Prasadam is served compared to Indian temples is in Chinese Kali temple. The temple was built by the Chinese who migrated to this place. Due to the prevalence of the Chinese in the Tangra region of Kolkata, this place has been also called the Chinatown of Kolkata. The Prasadam served here is different yet the best Prasadam Noodles, Chopsuey, and Fried Rice.
Dharmasthala Manjunatha Swami Temple, Karnataka:
Located on the banks of the Nethravathi river is this unique Indian temple. The prime deities of the Dharmasthala temple are Lord Shiva, Ammanavaru, Chandranath, Manjunatha and the Dharma Daivas. When we talk about the food Prasadam which served here, it can be described in one word and that is SIMPLE. But being simple, this food would be one of the best meals you would have probably eaten in your entire life. The temple serves more than 10,000 devotees on a daily basis.
Golden Temple, Amritsar:
It is one of the most sacred and holy places for the Sikhs. Millions of people come to the Golden Temple in Amritsar every year, regardless of their religious inclination and they’re all fed sitting next to one another. The Prasadams served here is made with about 100 quintals of wheat flour, 25 quintals of cereals, 10 quintals of rice, 5000 liters of milk, 10 quintals of sugar, 5 quintals of pure ghee used to make langar every single day. The food is purely vegetarian but it does include onions and garlic. In the winter, the temple authorities also serve Sarson Ka Saag along with the usual fare of dal and rice.
Ganpatipule Temple, Maharashtra:
This temple dedicated to Ganesha offers prasadam that’s fit for a king. Khichdi, pickle, and boondi which are simple yet filling. The evening bhog is even better as it consists of masala rice and pickle.
Mata Vaishno Devi, Katra, Jammu & Kashmir:
Mata Vaishno Devi receives several devotees every year and the prasadam here might be one of the reasons why. The prasadam is enclosed in a plastic packet and contains a mixture of poori (puffed rice), shredded coconut, sugar balls, and pieces of dried apple.
Puri Jagannath Temple:
Mahaprasadam is an offering of food to Jagannatha and his siblings who are worshipped in the temple. These offerings are made 6 times a day and are simple because the food is cooked in earthen pots over a fire. The food is first offered to the deities and is then served to worshippers who come to the temple seeking blessings. The mahaprasadam is served on a banana leaf and can contain up to 56 food items. It would be the best Mahaprasadam you will ever have.
Sabarimala Ayyappa Swami Temple:
The Ayyappa Swami Temple is in Kerala. This temple is well known not only for its tradition but, also for its unique prasadams. Appam and Aravana Payasam are served as part of the prasadam. Going by how elaborate South Indian temple food can be, they make a whole feast for the devotees. Oh yes!! Of course, this one is my favorite.
Sree Krishna Temple, Amblapuzha, Kerala:
One should try this best Payasam here. The Prasadam Served here is very simple, rice pudding which is called as palpayasam in kerala. This Payasam is very unique and the recipe has been secretly guarded within the temple for generations.
Sri Venkateswara Temple, Tirupati:
Ladoos!! The Tirupati laddoo is renowned as it is not available anywhere else in India as it has geographical copyright and a distinct flavor. The laddoos are available in 2 sizes. It takes up to one tonne of besan flour, 10 tonnes of sugar, 700 kg of cashew nuts, 150 kg of cardamom, 300 to 500 liters of ghee, 500 kg of sugar candy and 540 kg of raisins on a daily basis to prepare this gift from the gods. The recipe for making it is more than 300 years old. This Pure Simple Prasadam is one of the best laddoo Prasadam.
So while next time when you’re planning a religious trip or pilgrimage make sure that you are enlightened on this various temple prasadams in India. Don’t miss out to taste these delicious Prasadams.
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