Prasadam that is given at any temple is always the tastiest. That it is blessed by the almighty or because of the quantity which is just enough to know what you ate and not enough to satisfy you or the atmosphere, it could be because of any and all factors. I do not think anyone including atheists will refute this fact with me. The Puri, Channa Halwa of the North or the tantalizing tamarind rice aka pulihora of the south and any number of dishes in between are finger licking good only when we make it for God.
All the prasadams are on one side and the pulihora given in Tirupati Govindaraja Swamy temple is on the other. In my humble opinion, the pulihora that is given in that temple surpasses every other by gastronomical miles. As we are talking godly matters, we need to measure in equal terms. Coming back, I suspect many a pious person has gone to the temple to have the rice in addition to getting the blessings.
When we were staying in the university hostels in the temple town, we would go quite often to the temple. One of the major motivating factor was, needless to say, the prasadam. Please do not think that I am trivializing he divine grace. I am as pious as everyone else. But fact of the matter remains. Pulihora was a major draw in addition to the ambience. May be it was because of the taste buds that were bored of the same old fare dished in the cafeteria, maybe it was the hope that eating the prasadam will help us in our most recent endeavors of studying, whatever the cause may be, we would go there for the Darshan and then gorge on the heavenly food.
In the temple, one could buy for a rupee or two, additional pulihora packets. We would get those and have them to our hearts content once a week and then get back to the standard fare of the hostel mess. It was either on a Friday or Saturday that we got this treat. So it also served as a cheap weekend outing suiting the students budget or lack of it. If I am talking about Tirupati, why am I talking about the pulihora instead of the world famous laddu. It is just that you can have only a little bit of the ghee laden sweet and even then we would want something spicy to balance the taste.
If you have not stayed in Tirupati instead of just being a guest, you might not be able to appreciate the taste as much as a near starving student. If you are one of the tribe then you will be nodding your head with a smile. If not the Tirupati temple, all of us have had this experience at least at some divine abode where the jeevatma and the paramatma were delighted. Next time you are in Tirupati, plan a visit to the Govindaraja Swamy temple and be blessed.