temple

Mahaprasad

According to the Skanda Purana, Lord Jagannath redeems the devotees by permitting them to partake his Mahaprasad,to have his darshan and worship Him by rituals and offering gifts.

Mahaprasad is treated here as 'Anna Brahma'. The temple kitchen has got the capacity to cook for a lakh of devotees on a day. Mahaprasad is cooked only in earthern pots and on hearths. The steam-cooked food is offered to Lord Jagannath first and then to Goddess Bimala after which it becomes Mahaprasad. This Mahaprasad is freely partaken by people of all castes and creeds without any discrimination. The items offered include cooked rice, dal, vegetable curry, sweet-dishes, cakes etc. Dry confectionaries are prepared of sugar, jaggery, wheat flour, ghee, milk etc. When the steam-cooked food is carried to Lord in slings of earthern pots no flavour comes up from the food but when the same is carried back to the sale point after being offered to the Lord a delicious smell spells along in the breeze to the pleasant surprise of the devotees. Now the food is blessed. Mahaprasad consolidates human bond, sanctifies sacraments and grooms the departing soul for its journey upwards. Mahaprasads are sold in Anand Bazar or the PleasureMart of the temple which is situated on the northeastern corner of the outer enclosure of the temple. Most of the residents in and around puri depend upon this Mahaprasad to entertain their guests during social functions such as thread ceremony and weddings.

The tourists prefer to carry a particular type of dry Mahaprasad known as" Khaja" (made of maida,sugar and ghee) which stays fresh for days together.