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In a First, Kerala to Patent Iconic Temple 'Prasadams' to Check Counterfeit

The Travancore Devaswom Board is planning to obtain patent for the unique and sought-after prasadams like 'Ambalapuzha palpayasam' and 'Kottarakkara unniyappam'and 'aravana', offered at the shrines managed by it.

PTI

Updated:September 23, 2019, 2:15 PM IST
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In a First, Kerala to Patent Iconic Temple 'Prasadams' to Check Counterfeit
Melsanthi Unnikrishnan Nampoothiri opens the Sabarimala temple for the five-day monthly pooja on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. (PTI Photo)

Thiruvananthapuram: In some good news for devotees worried about fakes of iconic temple prasadams, including 'Sabarimala aravana', the Travancore Devaswom Board — Kerala's apex temple body — is gearing up to obtain patent for the offerings at famous shrines managed by it.

For the first time in its history, the TDB is planning to obtain patent for the unique and sought-after prasadams like 'Ambalapuzha palpayasam' and 'Kottarakkara unniyappam'and 'aravana', offered at the shrines managed by it.

Obtaining the patent would bar others from naming or selling the prasadams under the same name.

If things go as per plan, 'aravana', the jaggery dessert offered at Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Temple; 'unniyappam', the sweet ball prepared at Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple; and 'palpayasam' and milk porridge at Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna shrine will get patent rights under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act. All these prasadams are known for its unique taste and preparation.

A top TDB official said the move is to check the sale of counterfeit versions of the temple prasadams by hawkers. Steps are already on to prepare a report in this regard and start the application procedures, he added.

"Several instances of the sale of fake products under the pretext of famous temple prasadams have come to our notice in recent times. We have taken legal steps against those behind the cheating. In view of that, we have taken the decision to apply to get patent for our unique prasadams offered at the famous temples," TDB president A Padmakumar said.

Earlier this month, the TDB had initiated legal measures against a bakery for allegedly preparing and selling milk porridge in sealed containers under the name 'Ambalapuzha palpayasam'.

"The real prasadam is prepared at the temple and distributed to the devotees after offering to the deity. But, unfortunately, in many places, bakeries and caterers are preparing the products themselves and selling it claiming to be prasadams," he said.

Not just 'Ambalapuzha palpayasam', but several other iconic prasadams also face the same threat in the state, he said.

"I have asked the law officer to study the procedures and formalities to apply for patent. We will discuss the matter at the Board meeting here tomorrow," Padmakumar added.

The TDB manages over 1,200 temples, including the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple, in the state.

The 'Tirupati laddu' and 'Palani pachamritham', the prasadams offered at the Lord Venkateshwara temple in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh and Palani Murugan temple in Tamil Nadu respectively, have already been bestowed with the GI tag.

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