Tirumala, 10 October 2i16: The TIrupati Laddu, the GI tagged highly venerated ‘ take away’ from Tirumala for every devotee of Lord Venkateswara which celebrated its diamond jubilee in 2015 is as iconic and resplendent as many other popular land marks of the hill shrine.

The classical and traditional item ‘on the agenda of every pilgrim to Tirumala 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 in 1480 . With a view to give long shelf life to Srivari Prasadam, the boondi made of basun and dipped in jaggery syrup was conceived. In later days addition of almonds, cashew and resins was made to give it s a special flavour and nutritional richness, which was unique to Tirumala only.

The TTD EO Dr D Sambashiv Rao says that to meet the demand for laddus during the Brahmotsavam, TTD had jacked up the production and also kept a bugger stock of 7 lakh laddus.’WE want to ensure that no devotee went home unhappy without laddu”. Besides TTD is giving free laddus to devotees come by walk and also set up laddu counters inside the temple and also the vaikuntham queue complex.’ Devotees can now book their laddu tokens online along with Sheegra dharshan and other arjita seva tickets ‘he says.

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 hiking the reverence of devotees and pilgrims to Tirumala .TTD has deployed an escalator to take the raw material of boondi, which mass produced in the ultra modern frying bins out the temple to meet the huge demand which touched over one lakh every day from 1000 laddus in 1940. Legend of Tirupati laddu shows the for every 51 laddu pade in Srivari Potu 11 laddu was 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) for Laddu is practiced even today and the TTD has been heavily subsidizing the laddu prasadam for the benefit of the devotees.

As per the Dittam, each big laddu should weigh 700 Gms, should have 23.5 Gms of cashew, 12.5 Gms of raisins, 8.2 Gms of almonds, 6.2 Gms of sugar candy and moisture content of 12%. We check the laddu trays randomly every day to ensure its moisture content and other contents in the SV Food lab to ensure its quality and long shelf life ‘says Dr S Shermista, the TTD health officer.