Chennai: Three years after the state government approached the Geographical Indication Registry, Chennai, seeking Geographical Indication status to panchamirtham offered in Sri Dhandayuthapani shrine in Palani hills, the registry on Wednesday granted the coveted tag for the prasad.
In a petition filed before the GI Registry, the joint commissioner /executive officer, HR & CE, Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Thirukkoil, Palani, submitted that 'panchamirtham', has been prepared and offered only in the hill temple Palani for centuries.
It is a combination of five natural substances, - banana, jaggery sugar, cow ghee, honey and cardamom.
For additional flavour, dates and diamond sugar candies are added with five substances.
The prasadam is prepared without adding any preservative or artificial ingredient.
Panchamirtham well known for its religious fervour and gaiety across the world, besides being a good choice of desert as and when possible.
It is well known even outside the geographic limits. It is consumed by people from various countries as the temple attracts large number of devotees from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore and other countries, where large number of persons of Tamil origin are residing.
'Panchaminham has been offered to devotees who offer worship in the hill temple. It is also sold at stalls run by temple administration in the foothills and others. The petitioner has stated that the moolavar idol said to be designed, installed and worshiped by Boyar Siddhar, who made it with a combination of nine kinds of poisonous substances.
The establishment of temple dates back to the period of Chera King Cheraman Peruman during 9th century AD. Renovations and new constructions were carried out by several Pandya and Kongu Chola rulers at different periods.
Sri Dhandayuthapani Swamy known by several names - Murugan, Kandhan and Subramanian. In ancient days, Sri Dhandayuthapani Swamy was worshipped as Tamil Kadavul and God of Mountains - Kurinji Kadavul.
The people lived in Kurinji land offered natural products such as banana, honey, milk and milk products and cardamom to the God in gratitude. During the course of time they began to make some combination of natural products in some definite proportion. The combination of five natural products in natural method has been known as panchamirtham.
Several references were found in Tamil Literary work regarding the habitations and Lord Muruga. Hence the origin of Geographical Indication dates back to ancient period.
Initially, Panchamirtham was prepared on the top of the hill manually. Now, the temple administration prepares it in a large scale in a hygienic manner.
The whole process of preparation of the panchamirtham has been automated.
Now, it has been prepared under the guidance of Central Government's CFTRI (Central Food Technological Research Institute) Mysore.
Raw materials used for the preparation subjected to CFTRI Quality Test and is preparedonly under the guidance of CFTRI. The shops sold panchamirtham worth `31.74 crore between July 2014 and June 2015.
Considering the geographical nature and uniqueness of the prasad, the HR&CE officials sought the registry to accord GI status to the panchamirtham made in the Palani.
Tamil Nadu has 30 GI tags for various products including handicrafts Kancheepuram silk and Erode turmeric. The Tirupati Laddu is another temple prasadam which has a GI tag.