Annakshetra Sringeri

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A dear friend told me before the trip to eat food at temple dining halls. The first temple that I visited was Sringeri Math so visited the hall. I was impressed to see a huge hall and the Sewa bhavna (feeling) with which food was cooked and served. Besides Sringeri u see dining halls at Dharmasthala, Hornadu and Subramanya temples. U see the Sringeri Math dining hall.

Normal meal is rice, sambar, kurma and butter-milk. Sambar is carried in buckets as u see. The same food is served to all devotees irrespective of caste, creed, economic status etc. A similar sized hall exists on the other side.

This is the kitchen. The look speaks for itself.

Sambar and Kurma kept in huge containers. The size surprised me. On most days over 30,000 devotees have meals free of cost.

U see a sewak pouring kurma into a bucket for sharing with devotees.

Water being given. Plates made of steel. I loved the sambar rice, probably amongst the best I had so far.

A view of the devotees enjoying meals. In the centre u see plates ka trolley.

U see the dining hall at Dharmasthala Kshetra. This one is also huge. The Management told me that on some days 50,000 plus meals are served in a day.

Kitchen of Dharmasthala. They have huge electric cookers and a big storage area to keep veggies/rice. Free food and subsidised shelter for all those who seek the blessings of Lord Manjunatha (Shiva).

2 sewaks pouring sambar into the huge electric cooker. I loved the food being served.

Rice cooked and kept for serving during evening. One of the cooks told me that nearly all of it would be consumed that night due to heavy inflow of devotees.

U see the same dining hall with people at night. Food is served in leaves. Again place is very clean.

A group of children enjoying their meals. After meals are over a group of ladies clean the area with soap, dry it before the next group of devotees arrive.

Right hand side huge trolley is container with rice, in the centre is sambar and left hand is butter-milk. Butter-milk is poured onto the food and not given separately to drink as I thought.

U see an image of Sri Annapoorneshwari - means feeding one and all.

Next dining hall is Hornadu. On left is pic of the present Dharma Kartaru of Hornadu Shri Bheemashiv Joshi with his life. Right is Sri Annapoorneshwari.

Dining hall. On right hand side of pic are wash basins where devotees wash hands after meals. Everyone eats and washes very calmly, no hussling.

Another view of the devotees. In Hornadu they served a sweet also that was really tasty. Line for getting into the eating hall was really long but very disciplined.

A view of the kitceh at Hornadu, again very very clean.

Rice is removed from the big electric cookers into the trolley.

The is the second hall, the first is what u saw earlier. Whole affair is very well managed.

This is the dining hall at the Subrahmanya Temple.

The kitchen at the same temple.

Every time one round of devotees finish their meals women clean the hall like this.

Entrance to the dining hall at Murdeshwar Temple. There was such a rush of devotees on 30/12/2011 that I could not enter. Had to manage by clicking entrance to the hall. When I peeped thru the glass the hall was like others spotlessly clean.

Children eating in the dining hall of Sri Krishna Temple Udupi. It was around 9am so see only a few in the dining hall, seem like inhouse students.