Bhubaneswar: Ever wondered what would it be like to have authentic Odia food in langar? The Odia community in Punjab’s Ludhiana celebrate Ratha Jatra and other festivals of Odisha every year at the Jagannath temple and langar stands testimony to the love and respect the two communities share.
One of the founding members of Sri Jagannath Mandir Society, Praan Patnaik, reminisced his early memories of Jagatsinghpur and how he shifted to Punjab, he said, “We (he and his family) came here back in 1971 and in those days we had no such temples. I missed Odisha. So, after about 19 years, we built a Jagannath temple. We got the idols made in Odisha and brought them here.”
They started celebrating Ratha Jatra in 2004 along with other festivals of Odisha like Kartik Purnima and Shiv Ratri. This society is a perfect blend of two rich cultures where the Punjabis take part in various rituals of Odia festivals.
Every evening they perform the evening aarti where they sing bhajans for Lord Jagannath in Punjabi and Hindi. They conclude all festivals and pujas with langar (a public feast usually done in gurudwara) and serve authentic Odia food.
“Everyone who eats langar here appreciates the Odia food. Odia men cook the food. Besides, we also have servitors from Odisha, who take care of the temple and attend to all required rituals every day,” Praan Patnaik added.
The visitors savour arna, dalma, besara, mahura, saga, khatta, kheeri, among other delicacies served in the langar.