If you think that Krishna only loves makhan, while Ganesha is fond of just laddus and ghee makes Ayyappa happy, it’s time for you the press the refresh button.
From chocolate wafers to brownies, these temples of India have made prasad more contemporary.
1. Kerala’s Munch Murugan Temple
Gods can be modern too. So this Kerala temple where the deity is Alappuzha’s Balamurugan (baby Murugan, who is Shiva’s son), the common prasad is Munch. Yes, the chocolate! It is said that Murugan became fond of chocolate, especially Munch, after a little boy offered it to him some years ago. The god is even popularly called ‘Munch Murugan’. Chocolate bars are made as offering by devotees and they get them back as ‘prasadam’ after poojas.
2. Kolkata’s Chinese Kali Temple
At the first glance, you might find the temple a regular one, but one look at the prasad and you will notice something not-as-regular. The bhog offered at the foot of Ma Kali here includes noodles, chop suey, rice and vegetable dishes. The temple was built by the Chinese who migrated to Kolkata. Chinese, living in the area, is quite regular to the temple. It is said that once a 10-year-old boy who belonged to the Chinese community was very ill and even doctors could not cure him. His parents lay him down near the tree (at the temple) and prayed for several nights at a stretch. The boy got well, and since then the site became special.
3.Chennai’s Jayadurga Peetham Temple
The most common prasad offered in Chennai’s temples are either tamarind rice or sweet Pongal, but then there is also a temple that serves burgers, brownies, cracker sandwiches and cherry tomatoes salad as prasadam. To get prasad, all you need to do is slip a token into vending machines and collect boxes of ‘pret-a-prasadam’. It will first go to the god and then it will get you as prasad. The idea behind this change in prasadam is to show that anything prepared in a clean kitchen with a clean mind can be served to God and it doesn’t need to be only traditional dishes.
4. Kannur’s Parassinikkadavu Temple
Devotees offer fish, toddy and even bottles of liquor at this temple. Once the puja is done, items are served to the devotees as prasad. They also get a green gram and coconut pieces as prasad. Legend says that when several attempts by the upper castes to kill the powerful Muthappan failed, they sent him an enormous quantity of liquor. It is believed that he could have easily died in an inebriated state but the liquor consumed by Muthappan turned into nectar and he emerged more powerful. They believe that his favourite food is liquor and fried fish.
5. Bikaner’s Karni Mata Temple
At this temple in Bikaner, milk is offered to the devotees as prasad. Nothing unusual? Well, the milk is first fed to the rats as it is believed that the milk with rat saliva in it brings luck to the ones consuming it.