The Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams (TTD) has initiated a new project with an investment of Rs 50 crore to automate the making of Tirupati laddus.
Two machines are under production to make six lakh laddus with support from the Reliance Group of Companies. One machine will be kept on standby to utilise in case of any technical problems with the other machines.
According to the TTD sources, with the entry of automation machines, the TTD will supply as many as six lakh laddus daily.
The devotees of Lord Venkateswara Swamy have a special bondage with the famous Tirupati Laddu which has been distributed as ‘prasadam’ or naivedhyam at Lord Venkateswara Swamy’s hill shrine in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.
Presently, laddus are prepared in a separate kitchen called “Laddu Potu” on the premises of the temple, where as many as 500 people work round the clock in order to cater needs of 80,000 to one lakh devotees who visit the hill shrine daily.
The Tirupati laddu which is a mix of fried gram flour, boiling pure ghee, sugar syrup, cashew nuts, cardamom and raisins and sugar candy was prepared in ovens run by firewood before 1984. Later, the TTD introduced ovens operated with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Boondi Potu and Laddu Potu.
Boondi, fried gram flour in the boiled ghee at high temperatures, prepared at Boondi Potu will be mixed with cashew nuts, cardamom, raisins and sugar candy and send the mixture to the Laddu Potu through conveyer belts where workers mix boondi with sugar syrup and manually prepare the tasty laddus.
As both the Boondi and Laddu Potus (kitchens) met with accidents frequently with the residue of ghee forming on the walls of the kitchens due to the conventional methods of preparation, the TTD constructed another Boondi Potu with thermo fluid heater with a cost of Rs 21.75 crores, without using the LPG, electricity and firewood.
The heat generated by the heaters will be supplied to the 45 specially designed pans and the heated pans will prepare boondi causing any inconvenience to the workers.
Now, the TTD has decided to take up a project worth Rs 50 crore to prepare six lakh laddus automatically without human interference with total cooperation from the Reliance Group of Companies.
Under the new project, the mix of gram flour with other raw ingredients will be directly sent to the automatic Boondi Potu and the machine will drop the mixture into the pan where the pure ghee is boiling at a high temperature. The machine separates the boondi from the boiling ghee and sends it to another machine where it mixes cashew nuts, cardamom, raisins, sugar candy and sugar syrup.
The workers at the Laddu Potu will prepare laddus from the available mix from the automatic machines and send them to the counters concerned.
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