Mahaprasad ready for devotees

Mahaprasad (Oriya:ମହାପ୍ରସାଦ) is the term applied to the 56 food items offered to Lord Jagannath in the holy Temple of Puri, located in Orissa, India.

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Four hallowed shrines located at cardinal points of the Indian sub-continent i.e. Puri,Rameswar,Dwarika and Badrinath are believed to have been liked by Lord Vishnu intimately. It is said and believed that He takes His bath at Rameswaram, meditates at Badrinath,dines at Puri and retires at Dwarika.It is therefore,a lot of importance is given to the temple food "Mahaprasad" (not simply prasad) here at Puri.

According to " Skanda Purana" Lord Jagannath redeems the devotees by permitting them to partake his Mahaprasad,to have His darshan and to worship him by observing rituals and by offering of 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 earthen pots and medium of food is fire wood only. 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,gur,wheat flour,ghee,milk and cheese etc.

When the steam cooked food is carried to Lord in slings of earthen 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.

Mahaprasad are sold in Anand Bazar or the Pleasure Mart of the temple which is situated on the north east corner of the outer enclosure of the temple. It is the biggest open-air hotel in the world where every day thousands of devotees purchase and eat together forgetting their caste, creed and status.

Most of the residents in and around Puri depend upon this Mahaprasad to entertain their guests during social functions such as threading 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.

Dried rice Mahaprasad known as “Nirmalya” is also used by devotees and tourists for different sacred occasions.


There are five particular times a day, starting from early morning, when different kinds of Pitha, vegetables, rice and dal are offered to Jagannath and his sibling deities. Locally the offerings are called dhupah. The most popular is the midday Naivedhya, which contains the maximum number of food items. The items are not cooked by any human beings, but rather the ingredients are put in earthen vessels and kept on a wooden fire. After time has passed, the items are taken away from fire and taken by supakaras to The sanctum sanctorum or Garbhagriha for offering.The naivedya after offered to the sibling deities that is again offered to Vimala,a form of Shakti.Then the prasad becomes Mahaprasad and people partake the mahaprasad.In all auspicious occasions in Oriya Hindu families Mahaprasad is taken first.When Sun stays in the zodiac Dhanu,during that time an additional naivedya is given before sunrise which is called Pahili Bhoga.

Daily Food Offerings

Daily offerings are made to the Lord six times a day. These include:

  • The offering to the Lord in the Morning that forms His breakfast and is called The Gopala Ballava Bhog.
  • The Sakala Dhupa forms his next offering at about 10 O’ clock in the morning Sakala Dhupa. This generally consists of 13 items including the Enduri cake & Mantha puli.
  • Bada Singhara Bhog forms the next repast & the offering consists of Pakhala with dahi and Kanji payas. The offerings are made in the bhog mandapa, about 200 feet from the Ratna Vedi. This is called Chatra Bhog and was introduced by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century to help pilgrims share the temple food.
  • The Madhyanha dhupa forms the next offering at the noon.
  • The next offering to the Lord is made in the evening at around 8 o’clock in the evening eight in the evening it is Sandhya Dhupa.
  • The last offering to the Lord is called the Bada Simhara Dhupa. Breakfast is a seven item treat — Khua, Lahuni, sweetened coconut grating, coconut liver, and puffed rice sweetened with sugar known as khai and curd and bananas.

The Mahaprasad of Lord Jagannath are distributed amongst the devotees near the Ratnavedi in side the frame of Phokaria which is being drawn by the Puja pandas using Murujexcept for the Gopal Ballav Bhog and Bhog Mandap Bhoga which are distributed in the Anabsar Pindi & Bhoga Mandap respectively.

The items that form the core of offerings to Lord Jagannath’s Mahaprasad are:

1. Gopal Vallabh Bhog (Breakfast at 8.30 A M )

The offering is the first one of the daily Prasad to Lord Jagannath.The Bhogs are offered at the Anabsar Pindi.

  • Vallabh Khai - 44 Oli
  • Ripe Banana - 7 Nos
  • Nadia Khudi - 3 Sara
  • Big Kora - 29 Nos
  • Small Kora - 220 Nos

Members of Sevayats conduct this Puja in 5 Upchars. The sevayats who conduct this ritual are Puja Panda, Sudha Suar, Ballav Jogania, Suar Badu, Gara Badu, Palia Maha Suar. In the month of Dhanu Sankranti, Ballav Bhog is offered along with Pahali Bhog. Similarly on the DolaPurnima and Snana Purnima days, the Ballav Bhog and Sakal Dhup are taken up at one time. During Anabasar the Bhogs are offered near Jay-Vijay door as Sarpamanohi, but not on ballav pindi.

2. Sakala Dhupa (Morning Meal at 10.00 AM)

This is the first cooked meal Bhog. The Sevaks offer this Bhog with 16 Upchars on sitting on Ratnavedi. The following items are offered as Bhog for the purpose.

  • Pithapuli - 4 Sara
  • Badakanti - 5 Sara
  • Enduri - 6 Nos cut in to 12 pieces
  • Mitha Puli - 6 Nos
  • Dahi Amlu & Gray - 1 Sara
  • Hanskeli - 2 Sara
  • Sanakanti - 3 Sara
  • Chand for Puja Panda - 9
  • Kakapua Jhilli - 4 Nos
  • Ada Pachedi - 4 Sara
  • Bundia - 1 Sara
  • Tatha Khechudi - 6 Khuda
  • Bada Kania - 3 Kudua
  • Nukhura Khechudi - 3
  • Sana Khechudi - 3
  • Sri Balabhadra Khechudi - 2 Kudua
  • Mendha Mundia - 1 No
  • Sana Kania - 2 Kudua
  • Taila Khechudi - 3
  • Saga - 5

3. Bhoga Mandapa Bhoga (Supplementary to Breakfast at 11.00 AM)

As per the demand of the devotees. The Bhogs are sold on Payment.

4. Madhyanna Dhupa (Mid Day Meal at 12.30 to 1.00 PM)

Like the Sakal Dhup, this is also performed in 16 Upchars. The Sevayats engaged for the Sakal Dhup are only allowed for Madhyan Dhup and Sandhya Dhup. Generally different types of sweet cakes are offered during this Puja. The Bhogs used for this purpose is as follows:

  • Bada Pitha - 4 Sara
  • Bada Arisa - 18 Nos
  • Matha Puli - 17 Nos
  • Bada Bada - 9 Nos
  • Sana Kakara - 4 Sara
  • Jhadei Nada - 2 Oli
  • Suar Manohar - 30
  • Bada Khairachula - 1
  • Bada Puspalak Arisa - 10
  • Gaja - 1 Oli (24 Nos)
  • Paga Arisa - 9
  • Biri Badi - 4 Oli
  • Thali Anna for Subhadra - 3 Kudua
  • Thali Anna for Jagannath- 4 Kudua
  • Sana Oli Oria - 4 Oli
  • Muga Dali - 4 Oli
  • Sana Oli Marichi Pani - 4 Oli
  • Sana Kadamba - 5 Oli
  • Bada Khirisa - 1 Oli
  • Subas Pakhal - 11 Oli
  • Chhena Pishta - 2 Sara
  • Sakara - 2 Oli
  • Sana Oli Bada Khirisa - 4 Oli
  • Panaka - 5 Oli
  • Kadamba Handi - 3 Nos
  • Bada Oli Marichi Pani - 4 Oli
  • Pita Anna - 4 Oli
  • Bhog Odia Bada - 10 Oli
  • Thali Anna for Sudarsan Chakra- 2 Kudua
  • Balabhadra Thali Anna - 9 Kudua
  • Jhnada Tada - 1
  • Boak Arisa - 6
  • Marichi Ladu - 50
  • Sana Khairachula - 4
  • Thali paka Dhaula - 9
  • Manohar - 8
  • Jhadeinada Gula - 10 Nos
  • Bada Kakara - 9 Nos
  • Sana Arisa - 21 Nos
  • Tripuri - 5 Sara

5. Sandhya Dhupa (Evening Meal at 7.00 to 8.00 PM)

After the evening Arati, Sandhya Dhup Bhog is offered. This Arati is also called as Jaya Mangal Arati. Items are also prepared on request of devotees. The following items are presented for this Bhog.

  • Chipuda Pakhal - 14 Oli
  • Sana Oli Pakhal - 2 Oli
  • Kanar Puli - 3 Oli
  • Hata Poda Amalu - 7
  • Sana Amalu - 83
  • Pani Pakhal - 23 Oli
  • Sakara - 5 Oli
  • Math Puli - 22
  • Bada Amalu - 21

6. Bada Singhara Dhupa (Late night Meal at 11.00 PM)

This is the last Bhog of the deities. As per the record of Rites of Srimandir, the time has been fixed for 11.15 pm. Before Dhup, the Palia Puspalaks dressed up the deities with silk dressed (Pata), flower garlands and singing Gita Govinda. The Bhog is performed with 5 Upchars by three members of Puja Pandas by sitting at the side of Ratnabedi. The following items are offered.

  • Suar Pitha - 1 Sara
  • Rosa Paika - 1 Sara
  • Mitha Pakhal - 11
  • Kanji - 3 Oli
  • Sarapuli Pitha - 5 Sara
  • Biri Buha Pitha - 1 Sara
  • Kadali Bada - 15
  • Payasa/Kshiri - 6 Oli


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