Nation Other News 11 Oct 2016 Tirupati laddu histo ...

Tirupati laddu history as sweet as its taste

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | T SUDHAKAR
Published Oct 11, 2016, 7:37 am IST
Updated Oct 11, 2016, 7:39 am IST
TTD has checks in place to ensure quality is constant.
The Tirupati laddu, the GI-tagged highly venerated 'takeaway' from Tirumala for every devotee of Lord Venkateswara, is as iconic and resplendent as many other popular landmarks of the hill shrine.
 The Tirupati laddu, the GI-tagged highly venerated 'takeaway' from Tirumala for every devotee of Lord Venkateswara, is as iconic and resplendent as many other popular landmarks of the hill shrine.

Tirupati: The Tirupati laddu, the GI-tagged highly venerated 'takeaway' from Tirumala for every devotee of Lord Venkateswara, is as iconic and resplendent as many other popular landmarks of the hill shrine. The classical and traditional item on the agenda of every pilgrim to Tirumala, which celebrated its diamond jubilee in 2015, had emerged in its present form of a ball in 1940, though as prasadam in loose form was known to have made its presence in the itinerary of Lord Venkateswara from about 1803.

Inscriptions in Srivari temple indicate the journey of laddu prasadam termed as ‘manoharam’ in 1480. With a view to give long shelf life to Srivari prasadam, the boondi made of besun and dipped in jaggery syrup was conceived. In later days, addition of almonds, cashew and resins was made to give it a special flavour and nutritional richness, unique only to Tirumala. TTD executive officer D. Sambasiva Rao said that to meet the demand for laddus during the Brahmotsavam, TTD had jacked up the production and also kept a buffer stock of seven lakh laddus.
“We want to ensure that no devotee went home without a laddu,” Mr Sambasiva Rao said.

 

The TTD gives free laddus to devotees who walk to the shrine and has also set up laddu counters inside the temple and also in the vaikuntham queue complex. Devotees can now book their laddu tokens online along with Sheegra dharshan and other arjita seva tickets, the EO said. The laddu is prepared manually even today by the Vaikhanasa sect of Brahmins in the potu of Srivari temple magnifying the religious and devotional tint and reverence of the pilgrims to Tirumala.

TTD has deployed an escalator to take the raw material of boondi, which is mass produced in the ultra modern frying bins out the temple to meet the huge demand which has touched the over one lakh mark every day from the 1,000 laddus in 1940. Legend regarding the Tirupati laddu says that for every 51 laddus made in Srivari Potu, 11 was the share of the Archaka mirasi contractors.

 

The office of the Registrar of Patents, Trademarks and Geographical Indications, India, has awarded the status of a Registered Geographical Indication to Tirupati Laddu to safeguard the Intellectual Property pertaining to the laddu to put an end to abuse of its iconic value by unscrupulous traders. TTD had sought the GI tag for the laddu under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 in 2009. Till the TTD was formed and took over the reins of the Srivari temple from the hands of Mahants of Hathiram Math, the Archakas enjoyed a share in revenue from sale of laddu prasadam which was abolished in 1987 after the then Chief Minister showcased Tirumala and Srivari Temple as an asset of devotees.

 

But the Dittam for laddu (quality and quantity check list) is in place even today and the TTD has been heavily subsidising the laddu prasadam for the benefit of the devotees. As per the Dittam, each big laddu should weigh 700 gm, should have 23.5 gm cashew, 12.5 gm raisins, 8.2 gm almonds, 6.2 gm sugar candy and moisture content of 12 per cent. “We check the laddu trays at random every day to ensure its moisture content and other contents in the SV Food lab to ensure its quality and long shelf life,” said S. Shermista, the TTD health officer.

 

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