Food Planet Earth

The Golden Temple, the Holiest Site in Sikhism Provides Free Meals for over 100,000 Visitors a Day


The majority of Sikh temples in the world provide community kitchens where people can come and receive free food, however the Golden Temple in India, the holiest site in all of the Sikh religion provides free food for up to 100,000 visitors every day regardless of their religion, race, gender or social standing.

Using an average of 12,000kg of flour, 1,200kg of rice, 1,300kg of lentils and 500kg of ghee (clarified butter) the Golden Temple has the capacity to seat over 5000 guests at any time, serving them a traditional meal of rice, vegetables, lentils and bread. The temple is open to guests 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Volunteers make up 90% of the staff and they help out for as long as they can, some for a few hours, some for days and some stay all year round, the volunteers can assist with preparing the food in ways such as hand rolling bread or peeling garlic. The plates and cutlery used each day is washed 5 separate times by another group of volunteers, then stacked and returned for the next diners.

All diners must take off their shoes before entering the temple and sit on the floor to eat as equals. The expenses of the temple are managed by donations given from visitors who come from all over the world.

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