The prasad or prasadam at the Tirupati Temple is one of the most interesting things to know about the Tirumala God in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. Laddu is the most popular of all different prasad types, given to devotees at the hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara. Since the introduction of the Tirupati Temple laddu on August 2, 1715, it has been 300 years. There are some interesting facts about the Tirupati Temple laddu to share with you on the occasion of its 300th anniversary.
No pilgrimage to the Tirupati Temple is complete without the laddu prasad. It is the most sought after prasad type at the richest Hindu temple in the world. Pilgrims buy tokens for the prasad and collect it after prayers to Lord Tirumala. The laddu prasad sells like a hot cake during Brahmotsavam. Needless to say, the round-the-year sale of the prasad contributes immensely to the treasure of the Tirupati Temple.
About 90 millions of the Tirupati Temple laddu were sold to pilgrims in 2014, which a whopping budget of 2,401 crore INR was allocated to for the fiscal 2014-2015 (according to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam at the helm of the temple affairs). TTD reported an income of 190 crore INR from sales of the prasad during the last fiscal. Unsurprisingly, the sale of 1.8 million laddu in the first week of Brahmotsavam Festival in 2014 broke all previous records in the Tirupati Balaji Temple history.
Brahmotsavam is a grand festival that the Tirupati Balaji Temple celebrates for nine days in September and October every year. The celebration fetches hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and tourists from across the globe. As per legends of the Tirumala Temple, the origin of the Brahmotsavam festivity traced to Lord Brahma, the Creator of the universe. – Indian Eagle
The making of a 300 gram laddu costs more than 25 INR for the use of quality ingredients including sugar, ghee, oil, flour, cardamom and dry fruits. But, the temple collects only 10 INR for one laddu. Tokens for prasad are issued at this highly subsidized rate as a privilege to pilgrims.
The making of some 300,000 laddus and other prasad types a day at the Tirupati Balaji Temple generates employment for hundreds of people. Yes, the temple employs about 620 people, including 270 cooks, in its prasad making unit. The temple kitchen was modernized last year and two escalator belts were installed for seamless passing of laddu and boondi crates. Evident is the grand arrangement to make sure that not a single pilgrim returns home without prasad from the Lord Venkateswara Temple.
The Tirupati temple laddu got the Geographical Indication (GI) status in 2014, which prevents sweet outlets of all sizes from selling laddu with the tag “Tirupati Laddu”. In 2013, the Madras High Court banned the sale of laddu with the brand tag at a Chennai based sweet stall in an effort to preserve the sanctity of the Tirupati Laddu as it is touched at the holy feet of the Tirumala Lord before being distributed to pilgrims.
How to reach Tirupati Balaji Temple
About 560 km is the distance between Hyderabad and Tirupati. The distance from Bangalore to Tirupati is some 250 km. 155km is the distance from Chennai to Tirupati. Tirupati Airport (Renigunta) is a short flight from Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad International Airports. Tirupati Town is a 15km drive from Renigunta Airport.
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