India is a religious country. We have many religions, and each of them has their own religious and cultural practices. People of different religions have faith in their respective God and the temples are considered highly respectable places, and so it their “prasad,” “Prashad,” or “Prasadam” (the sacred food that is offered to God and later distributed among the devotees in small quantities). Some temples offer very distinctive Prasad. Here is a list of temples that offer different and unique prasad in India.
1. Jagannath Temple, Puri
“Mahaprasad,” which is commonly known as “Chappan (56) Bhog,” is offered to Lord. It is made in earthen pots kept in firewood. It is first delivered to Lord Jagannath and then to sibling deities and Maa Vimala. Once it is provided to all the Gods, the prasad becomes “mahaprasad,” which is distributed among devotees.
2. Maitri Kripa Kalibari, Lucknow
In this Kali temple, chocolates, biscuits, cakes, wafers, cola, chips, and jelly are offered as Prasad. During “Annakoot” (puja that is done a day after Diwali), all these items are offered to the goddess with other food items like grains, fruit etc. A total of 151 items is offered here. The chips, chocolates, jelly, etc., are later distributed among kids. This practice is unique to this temple.
3. Kal Bhairav Temple, Ujjain
In this temple, liquor is offered to the deity as prasad. This practice is a part of five tantric ritual offerings known as “Panchamakara.” The liquor bottle is sold by vendors outside the temple, along with flowers and coconuts. The devotees can offer it to the deity and later consume it as prasad.
4. Kamakhya Devi Temple, Assam
According to the legend, this temple has the mythological womb of Devi Sati. During the annual fair festival of Ambubachi, the temple is closed for three days, and on the 4th day, a moist red piece of cloth, which has the menstrual fluid of Goddess Kamakhya, is distributed among devotees. This piece of fabric is considered super auspicious in the Hindu religion.
5. Mahadeva Temple, Mazhuvanchery, Thrissur
You won’t find any other prasad more unique and valuable than this. Here, the prasad given to devotees consists of CDs, DVDs, informative brochures, study, and writing materials. According to the temple trust, imparting knowledge to the needy is the best form of prasad.
6. Chinese Kali Temple, Kolkata
It may sound like a normal Kali Temple but it is not! The unique thing about this temple is that, unlike any other temple, it distributes Chinese foods to its devotees as prasad. Noodles, chop Suey, and fried rice are the main dishes offered as prasad here. This is a unique practice that has been continued here for decades.
7. Azhagar Kovil, Tamil Nadu
This temple is also known as Alagar Temple, which is located 21 km away from Madurai. It offers “dosai” (Dosa is called Dosai in South India, which is the correct term for Dosa!) as prasad. Other than Dosai, the prasad includes Tamarind Rice, Lemon Rice, and a special Pongal sweet loaded with jaggery, cardamom, and ghee.
8. Sri Venkateswara Temple, Tirupati
The prasad of this temple is very popular throughout the country. It offers Laddoos called Sri Vari Laddoo or Tirupati Laddoo. They are huge and are unique to the place. These Laddoos have been offered to deites for the last 300 years. They have been given a GI tag. People can also buy these Laddoos. “Achaka” are the priests who prepare these Laddoos.
9. Shri Banke Bihari Temple, Vrindavan
Here, the first “Bhog,” (prasad that is offered to God) is called the “Bal Bhog” which consists of Kachori, aloo ki sabzi, and besan ke laddoo. Another prasad offered is Makhan mishri (Makhan is butter, and mishri is rock sugar). It is offered along with Peda (a sweet dish). Makhan mishri is offered in Kulhad (clay cup). The prasad here is made from pure cow milk.
10. Shrinathji Temple, Rajasthan
Unlike sweets and Laddoos, this temple offers Mathadi. Mathadi is a kind of deep-fried pastry that is dipped in sugar syrup. It is a special kind of prasad that is wholesome to eat.
11. Vaishno Devi Temple, Katra
Vaishno Devi temple offers prasad in two small eco-friendly jute bags. The first bag contains puffed rice, dried apples, dry coconut, and elaichi (cardamom) seeds. The second one has mishri and a silver coin with deities embossed on it. It is given to all devotees in “bhaint” (gift).
12. Khabees Baba Temple, Uttar Pradesh
Liquor is offered as prasad in this temple. This temple is dedicated to Khabees Baba, a saint who lived 150 years ago. It is said that he loved liquor and whatever he said after consuming it, came to be true. The prasad of liquor can be consumed by devotees after offering it to Khabees Baba.
13. Karni Mata Mandir, Bikaner
This temple is famous for its rats. It is estimated that more than 25,000 rats live in this temple. The prasad offered by the devotees is first provided to rats and then to the deity. Even the prasad that devotees receive from the temple is defiled by rats. It is said that prasad which contains the rat’s saliva brings good luck.
14. Vimala Temple, Puri
Vimala or Bimala temple is situated in the temple complex of Jagannath Puri temple. Here, during Durga Puja every year, the deity is offered meat of goat, sacrificed in the temple complex. Along with this, fish is also provided which is caught from the temple tank. The prasad offered to the deity is later on distributed among the devotees.
15. Parassinikkadavu Temple, Kannur
In this temple, the deity is offered fish, liquor, and toddy (a natural drink made from coconuts that contain minuscule amount of liquor) as prasad. It is served after worshipping the deity and later distributed among the devotees. Coconut pieces and green gram is also distributed.
16. Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple
In Sabarimala Temple, devotees are offered Appam and Aravana Payasam as prasad. These dishes are from Kerala. Appam is a kind of pancake made from raw rice, dry yeast, coconut milk, and sugar. Aravana Payasam is a kind of kheer made from red rice, jaggery, and coconut. It is a unique prasad offered in this temple.
17. Ganpatipule Temple, Maharashtra
Here the prasad is kind of unique from other temples. The deity is offered a full meal consisting of Khichdi, pickle, papad, and boondi during the afternoon. The evening “bhog” also includes masala rice. This prasad is a treat for devotees who come here.
18. Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple, Tamil Nadu
The prasad offered here is known as “Palani Panchamirtham.” It is a kind of jam made from 5 items, mainly banana, cow ghee, jaggery, cardamom, and honey. Dates are also added to it. This prasad is one of its kind in India. It has got a GI tag in 2019.
19. Golden Temple, Amritsar
The prasad offered here is “Kadha prasad” which is similar to halwa. It is made from flour, sugar, water, and ghee. Apart from this, langar (community kitchen) also takes place here, which feeds lakhs of people every day. It is a simple meal of Dal, Roti, Sabzi, and rice.
20. Gogamedi Temple, Rajasthan
This temple is dedicated to Gogaji, a great warrior. The prasad is offered here in the form of onions and lentils. Every devotee that comes here offers at least 250gms of onions and lentils to the deity. It has been a tradition of offering onions to pay tribute to the great warrior.