India is famous for cultural and religious heritage, with its pilgrimage sites attracting millions of devotees every day. On an average, around 25,000 devotees visit the Sai Baba Samadhi Mandir in Shirdi per day, and the number can shoot up to 1 lakh during the religious festivals.
The temple’s kitchen, known as ‘Sri Sai Sansthan Prasadalaya’ is famous for its capacity to prepare food as well as the technology used to achieve that. Here are some interesting facts about one of the largest solar-powered kitchen in the world:
73 Solar Dishes across 4 Rood Tops:
Each solar dish installed at this mega kitchen in 16 square meter in size, and has 380 mirrors. This solar system produces around 3,500 kg of steam every day. And it can work even in the absence of electricity.
Saves 1,00,000 kg of Gas:
Taking advantage of India’s geography and climate, the Sai Baba temple kitchen cooks food in an environment-friendly way. This results in a huge annual savings of around Rs 20 lakhs and 1 lakh kg gas.
The cooking house has machines to make chapatis and cut the vegetables. There are also automatic dishwashing machines that clean-up thousands of vessels that pile up after the meal. To ease the process, more than 120 people are employed.
Serves 25000-30000 Devotees Every Day:
The gigantic setup and on-spot management ensure that no one goes hungry at the Sai Baba temple. There are two shifts for cooking: 7 am to 3 pm and 3 pm to 11 pm.
Cost of the Solar Set-up:
It was installed in 2009, and inaugurated by the then New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah. The system had a total cost of Rs 1.33 crore, for which Abdullah’s ministry provided a subsidy of Rs 58.40 lakhs.
Sai Baba was famous as he used to distribute food among devotees during his lifetime. The Samadhi Mandir trust at Shirdi continues the practice to this day. For millions, the Shirdi Sai Baba temple is a place for internal cleansing, but by reducing their carbon footprint, they also ensure that our external environment stays clean.