Langar at the Golden Temple — Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Kind and Caring

This is our entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Kind and Caring.

The Sikh people serve free hot meals in their temples around the world to anyone who comes, regardless of religion. When we visited Amritsar in the Indian state of Punjab, we ate the communal meal at the Golden Temple with hundreds of other fellow travelers. The langar hall at the temple is the largest free kitchen in the world. Dozens of volunteers work continuously to prepare the food in a gigantic kitchen. The photo below shows volunteers preparing the freshly baked roti just prior to serving.

 

 

Diners sit cross-legged on the floor in long rows. Each row contains more than 100 diners and there are rows and rows in the hall. The meal was simple but very good. We felt a deep sense of kindness and caring from the Sikh people who serve these meals as a labor of love.

 

These photos were taken on October 25, 2014. Specs are:

First photo: Olympus TG-3, ISO 100,  f/2.8, 1/160 sec, 4.8mm

Second photo: Olympus TG-3, ISO 800,  f/2, 1/25 sec, 4.5mm

 

Evening Recitation over the Sri Guru Granth Sahib

This is our entry in The Daily Post Daily Prompt: Recite.

In October 2014, we were fortunate to visit the Sri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar, Rajasthan, India, and to observe the evening recitation by the head priest of the Harimandir.  He sits here in front of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (the most important scripture of Sikhism), which has been set on pillows covered by immaculate silks and brocades.

 

This photo was taken on October 24, 2014. Specs are:

Olympus TG-3, ISO 800, f/3.6, 1/15 sec, 11.01 mm

(With apologies for any inaccuracies in describing this important ritual.)

The Langar of the Golden Temple

This is our entry in The Daily Post Daily Prompt: Collaboration.

In October 2014, we visited Amritsar in the Indian state of Punjab.  Amritsar is a city inhabited 70% by Sikhs, a friendly and accepting people. Sikhism is a newer religion, founded in the 15th century by Guru Nanak, rejecting caste and idolatry, and promoting the sameness of all human beings. Amritsar is home to the Golden Temple, the holiest Sikh gurdwara (place of worship); built in the 16th century, the Golden Temple houses the holy book, the Granth Sahib, which was designated as the 11th guru by the 10th (and last human) guru.

During our visit to the Golden Temple, we also ate in the community kitchen (langar), which feeds over a thousand people continuously.  Each person fed can receive a vegetarian meal of water, chapattis, dal (lentil soup), and a thin rice pudding.  This huge operation is staffed by hundreds of volunteers and permanent staff, men and women alike, who prepare each part of the meal and wash the metal trays used.  The smooth and efficient operation of the langar depends on the collaboration of the workers (sewadars) in each area of preparation. This photo shows women and men engaged in cleaning garlic cloves.

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Preparing garlic in the langar
This photo was taken on October 25, 2014. Specs are:
Olympus TG-3, ISO 200, f/2, 1/30 sec, 4.5 mm

Places of Worship

Since today is Easter Sunday, the featured topic is places of worship from around the world. The pictures are presented alphabetically by country.

Since, by necessity, the description of the religious significance of each site is very short, the interested reader is encouraged to research further.

Cambodia

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Angkor Wat, Cambodia

This photo shows the sun rising behind Angkor Wat in Cambodia. During its long history, Hinduism and Buddhism have both been practiced here.

This photo was taken in March, 2013.

Egypt

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Temple of Kom Ombo, Aswan, Egypt

The Temple of Kom Ombo is located  in Upper Egypt for the worship of two gods: the crocodile god Sobek (god of fertility, who created the world) and the falcon god Horus (son of Isis and Osiris; god of the sky, war and hunting). Images of Hathor, depicted as a cow goddess, are also  prevalent here.

This photo was taken in February, 2013.

France

Notre Dame
Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France

This photo of the historic Catholic Notre Dame Cathedral was taken in October, 2015.

India

Here are photos of Indian temples for each of three ancient religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism) and two newer religions (Islam and Sikhism).

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Sree Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India

The Sree Meenakshi Amman Temple is located in Madurai in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and named for his wife, the goddess Parvati. Shiva is the destroyer, recycler and regenerator of universe and all life. Parvati is the goddess of love and devotion. Shiva and Parvati are the parents of Ganesha and Kartikeya.

There are 14 towers; the tallest tower is the southern one, at 170 feet.

This photo was taken in March, 2013.

 

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Jain Temple at Ranakpur, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

This photo shows pillars in the interior of the Jain Temple at Ranakpur, in the city of Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan, India.

This photo was taken in October, 2014.

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Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India

This photo shows the Dhamekh Stupa in Sarnath, about 13 kilometers north-east of Varanasi, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Sarnath is the site of Buddha’s first sermon after his enlightenment.

This photo was taken in October, 2014.

 

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Jama Masjid, Old Delhi, India

This photo shows the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi; it is one of the largest Muslim mosques in India. The photo is taken from a window at the top of one of the towers, a twin to the taller tower reaching above the skyline. The two (shorter) minarets visible in the middle are 130 feet high.

This photo was taken in March, 2013.

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The Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab, India

This photo is of Sri Harmandir Sahib, the Golden Temple, which is the holiest Gurdwara (place of worship) of Sikhism.  The Golden Temple is located in Amritsar in the state of Punjab, India.

This photo was taken in October, 2014.

Spain

 

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Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain

This photo shows part of the exterior of the Sagrada Família, a Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Spain, designed by Antoni Gaudi.

This photo was taken in April, 2015.

Thailand

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Buddha statues, Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand

This photo shows a row of Buddha statues inside Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand. The photo was taken in March, 2013, before the restoration of the wall behind the statues.

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Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand.

This photo shows the Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand.

This photo was taken in February, 2016.

Vatican City State

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Sistine Chapel ceiling, Vatican

This photo shows part of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Roman Catholic Vatican.

This photo was taken in February, 2013.