Five Indian temples where Nonveg Prasad is Distributed

Posted on July 18, 2023 by

Hinduism and India are conventionally associated with Vegetarianism, and the prasad (the food offering) distributed in Hindu temples is almost invariably vegetarian. However, believe it or not, this is only sometimes the case. There are, in fact, some temples in India that do distribute non-vegetarian prasad. Though these temples are only exceptions to the general rule of Hinduism’s commitment to Vegetarianism, they speak volumes of its diversity. Here we take a look at the five most prominent temples of India where non-vegetarian food is still distributed.

Five Hindu temples where nonveg prasad is distributed

The following are some of the Hindu temples where nonveg prasad is distributed:

1. Kamakhya Temple of Assam

The first and one of the most important temples in this list is the Kamakhya Temple of Assam. Located in the North-Eastern state’s capital Guwahati, it is dedicated to Hindu Goddess Kamakhya. The temple is currently famous for the Ambubachi Mela, a fair during which a special prasad called “khasi” is offered to the goddess. Khasi is a goat sacrifice, and devotees believe that consuming this prasad brings blessings. Ambubachi Mela is an annual fair held during the monsoon season and the Assamese month of Ahaar.

According to Hindu mythology, Kamakhya Devi is believed to be an ancient Hindu Tantric goddess who originated from the body parts of Goddess Sati. According to legend, when Lord Shiva performed his Tandava (the cosmic dance of destruction) while carrying the lifeless body of Sati, her genital organ, known as the yoni, fell at the spot where the Kamakhya Temple stands today. The temple is thus one of the most important sites of temples dedicated to Devi Shakti. The devi is also associated with Devi Kali.

The temple also offers another unique prasad called “angadhak,” which is a piece of cloth supposedly stained with the menstrual blood of the devi. Devotees consider it sacred and auspicious. That is also peculiar as many Hindu traditions consider mensurating women impure and do not permit their entry into temples. The goddess is considered the goddess of fertility and is revered by the local population.

2. Kamakhya Temple of Himachal Pradesh

Another Kamakhya Temple in Himachal Pradesh, where non-vegetarian food is distributed, is located near Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. It also follows the tradition of offering non-vegetarian prasad. Here, a goat is sacrificed, and the meat is cooked as prasad, which is distributed among devotees.

3. Kal Bhairav Temple, Ujjain

The Kal Bhairav Temple, located in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, is dedicated to Lord Bhairava. Kal Bhairva is a fierce form of Lord Shiva that is popular among Tantric worshippers, and it is believed that offering liquor and meat to Lord Bhairava can please him. Non-vegetarian prasad, including alcohol, is offered to this deity, and devotees also receive a small portion as prasad.

4. Kamleshwar Mahadev Temple, Goa

When one thinks of Goa, one mostly thinks of its pristine beaches and Portuguese churches; however, it is home to many temples too. Kamleshwar Mahadev Temple is situated in the Anjuna area of Goa and is another temple known for its non-vegetarian food. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu God of destruction, Lord Shiva. The main deity is thus lingam which is a traditional Hindu iconic presentation of Lord Shiva. It is known for its unique prasad distribution, as the temple offers fish prasad to devotees. This fish food is freshly caught and cooked as an offering.

Though the temple celebrates various Hindu festivals, Maha Shivaratri is one of the most important. During this festival when special rituals, prayers and cultural performances are held.

5. Baba Balak Nath Temple, Himachal Pradesh

Baba Balak Nath Temple is another temple known for non-vegetarian offerings. It is located in the Hamirpur district of Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh and is dedicated to Baba Balak Nath. Baba Balak Nath was a revered Hindu saint. The temple has a long tradition of offering goat sacrifices, and the meat of the sacrificed goat is cooked and distributed as prasad to devotees.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s)

There are several questions that the readers may have about non-vegetarian prasad offerings in temples. The following are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s):

Question: Are there any other such Hindu temples that have non-veg prasad offerings?

Answer: Please note that the above list of temples is hardly exhaustive, and that offers non-vegetarian food, and there might be several other temples as well. Some other such temples include:

Kali Bari Temple, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Bhairavnath Temple, Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir
Kottiyoor Temple, Kannur, Kerala
Kaal Bhairav Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Sheetla Devi Temple, Gurugram, Haryana

Question: Why do these temples have non-vegetarian food offerings?

Answer: These temples have long traditions of non-vegetarian food offerings. They continue to uphold these traditions. The offerings are also associated with the tantric system of worship. Tantric worshippers worship Lord Shiva, Maa Kali, and their forms – and often use non-vegetarian food and alcohol for the purpose.

Question: Does this mean Hinduism supports Non-vegetarian food?

Answer: No, it doesn’t mean that, and the sacrifices in these temples are of symbolic form, just like prasada in all other temples. Hinduism doesn’t encourage violence against animals. Also, often, the impure form of food is itself the reason for choosing it – as it is seen as a way of sacrificing one’s worldly desires to Lord Shiva.

Question: What is the best time to visit these temples?

Answer: The best time to visit these temples is the festivals they are popular or renowned for if you are a spiritual person. In the case of most of these temples, it is Shivratri in particular and new moon day and full moon day in general.

So when are you traveling here?

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