Srivari Laddu Prasadam by biometric vending machine
Tirupati laddu -- the most sought-after prasadam for lakhs of pilgrims who throng Tirumala. “Tirupati Laddu”- the most sought-after prasadam for lakhs of pilgrims who throng Tirumala, which is popularly known as the “Srivari Laddu” – the mouth watering, delicious Laddu, which is the mainstay of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Prasadam for more than 300 hundred years. The taste of Tirumala Laddu is spread all over the world. The mouth-watering Laddu and vadai, the likes of which is not prepared elsewhere in the world. It is a 'sweet favourite' of the young and the old. The Tirumala Laddu has become synonymous with Tirupati. Can we return home without Tirumala Laddu after having the divine darshan of Lord Venkateswara? Never!
To meet the ever increasing demand for ''prasadam'' and to weed out malpractices during its distribution, the Lord Venkateswara temple authorities at Tirumala are planning to set up ''laddu'' biometric vending machines in a big way.
A Bangalore-based company has conceived the device which will be operated on a pilot basis from next week.
“We aim to reduce manpower involved in transport and sale of laddu,” says Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) representatives, which manages the main temple and 12 other sub temples in Tirumala and Tirupati.
Devotees have to pay money at a counter and record thumb impression on the bio-metric gadget to get a token to use the vending machines.
The initiative will help the TTD distribute “laddu ¬pr¬a¬sadam” round the clock. The TTD on an average sells nearly one lakh “laddus” every day and the number is much high on weekends and during festivals.
Worshipping god, it seems, is getting mechanical. Or perhaps technology is gradually bridging the gap between people and religious rituals.
Laddu, or Ladoo, is one of the most important offering and prasadam given to devotees at the Tirumala Tirupati Lord Venkateswara Temple. Tirupati Laddu is a spherical-shaped sweet made of flour and sugar. In fact, Tirupati and the huge laddus are synonymous. It is a customary duty of a devotee returning from Tirupati Balaji Temple to distribute ‘laddu’ as prasadam to his neighbors, friends and relatives.
"The laddu prasadam came into being in the early 1920s, though some temple priests claim that it existed even before the 17th century,'' a former official said. Around 1.5 lakh laddus are made daily. The increasing demand for Tirumala Laddus from the devotees had spawned a major black market trade in and around the temple in the last two decades. The Laddus were sold in black market at a cost of around Rs. 50 and more each by the black marketers with the involvement of temple officials. Even the authorities know what’s happening in their compound. They conduct raids and catch a few now and then to minimize the pressure.
Quick facts about Tirupati Laddu
Around 150,000 laddus are made daily.
- One laddu is given free to each devotee; the number of daily devotees that visit the temple is around 50,000.
- A devotee can buy extra two laddus – a small laddu costs 25 rupees and big laddu costs 100 rupees.
- The revenue from the sale of laddu annually is more than 11 million rupees.
- Each laddu weighs around 100gms and is huge when compared with the normal laddu found in shops.
- There is a super huge Tirupati Laddu known as Kalyana Laddu and it weighs around 500gms – ½ a kilogram.
- Single largest laddu made is said to have weighed 32 kg.
- The tradition of Tirupati Laddu is nearly 300 years old.
- It is prepared by special hereditary priests known as archakas in special temple kitchen known as ‘potu’.
- Ingredients used in Tirupati Laddu are Besan flour (kadalai mavu), Sugar, Cashew nuts, Cardamom, Ghee, Oil, Sugar candy, Raisins and Almonds.
On a day around 5000 kg of Besan flour is used.
Sugar around 10000 kg.
Cashew nuts around 600 kg.
Cardamom 150 kg
Ghee 300 liters
Sugar candy 400 kg
Raisins 540 kg
Tirupati Laddu Prasadam and GI
The Tirupati laddu is the popular name for Srivari laddu, which is offered as prasadam to the devotees after they worship the Lord. The laddus are not produced anywhere in the world and are very unique in terms of quality, reputation and other characteristics which go into its making. The grant of Geographical Indication tag to Tirupati laddu by Indian Patent Office in 2009. Popular items that have been granted GI tag world over include champagne and tequilla. The procedure helps in preventing others from surreptitiously exploiting a brand name that has evolved over a period of time. GI status also provides legal protection and facilitates for action in case of infringement.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTDs) the administrating body of the temple is planning to patent the Tirupati Laddu to stop counterfeits.
“Ancient traditions are meeting modern technology”