Inside The World’s Biggest Community Kitchen

Eco Adventure

Community kitchens worldwide help feed millions of people, but one community kitchen stands out from the rest feeding over 100,000 people every day. The Golden Temple is the largest Sikh shrine and free community kitchen (or langar) in the entire world, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week feeding those in need.

Despite being part of the holy site, this langar extends a helping hand giving free food to anyone regardless of ethnicity, gender, or religion. On average, the community kitchen will feed up to 100,000 people per day, but this figure can double on religious holidays.

The Harmandir Sahib (or Golden Temple) is located in Punjab, India, with people worldwide visiting and enjoying the food prepared by a community of humanitarians. Langars are widespread across South Asia since the birth of Sikhism, with the Golden Temple serving free meals since 1577. Feeding 100,000 people requires a lot of hard work and giant metal vats for preparing dishes. Cooking all this food requires over 100 gas cylinders and vast piles of wood that are burned throughout the day to keep the operation running 24/7 with only one 30-minute break from cooking at 4:30 to 5 a.m.

The process starts with prepping the food for cooking with a large team of volunteers and permanent staff of 300-350 employees preparing fruits and vegetables. The varying menu depending on what food is donated to the kitchen, but all meals are vegetarian. This massive humanitarian effort requires a lot of hard work from volunteers and some help from machines processing tons of food.