BHUBANESWAR: People across the Capital City will no longer have to wait in long queues outside temples to partake cooked prasad or ‘Abhada Bhog’. They can now get it delivered at their doorstep at click of the mouse. Six Bhubaneswar-based techies have come up with a startup, ‘Temple Thali’ that procures ‘Abhada’ from temples and delivers it to people. The venture was started on July 3.
On the menu are ‘Normal Abhada’, ‘Special Abhada’, ‘Temple Thali’ and special ‘Khaja’. While the ‘Normal Abhada’ includes Anna, Dal, Besara, Saga, Khata and Kheer, the ‘Special Abhada’ has Kanika, Dal, Khata, Besara, Saga and Kheer at Rs 110 and Rs 130 respectively. Similarly, the ‘Temple Thali’ includes Anna, Dal, Vegetable Curry, Khata and Kheer and is priced at Rs70.
At present, Abhada Bhog is procured from the Ananda Bazaar of Ananta Basudev temple in Old Town and kitchen of Shani temple at Vani Vihar. The prasad of Ananta Basudev temple is the most sought-after holy meal in Odisha after Lord Jagannath’s ‘Mahaprasad’.
‘Khaja’, a sweet delicacy in the list of confectionaries under ‘Sukhila Bhog’ for Lord Jagannath, is procured from Puri. A packet of 12 pieces of big size Khaja is priced at `100. The team has tied up with ‘Khaja’ vendors in Ananda Bazaar of Jagannath temple and outside the shrine.
The startup was the brainchild of a group of friends from College of Engineering and Technology (CET), Bhubaneswar – Abhishek Khemka, Bishal Bibek Kabiraj, Rudrakhya Badu, Baivab Puhan, Shradhanjali Sahoo and Aditya Padhi. While Abhishek and Bishal have completed their engineering in IT and Biotechnology respectively from the college, Rudrakhya and Aditya are in their fourth and third years of engineering course respectively. Similarly, Baivab and Shradha are pursuing Bachelors in Architecture course (fourth year) from CET.
“People standing outside the Ananta Basudev and other temples in the city for ‘Abhada’ is a regular sight during the noon hours. We thought that if the process of getting Abhada becomes easier, there would be several takers. We spoke among ourselves about initiating a startup in this regard and decided to start an online business of delivering prasad this year,” says Abhishek. They self-funded the initiative through personal savings as they believe that Temple Thali would thrive on the back of religious sentiments attached to ‘Abhada’. “It is also because of the religious sentiments that we decided not to charge anything for home delivery of Abhada. Prices of the food items are nominal and the money can be paid either on cash on delivery mode or bank transfer,” says Shradha.
The venture has its own delivery mechanism that includes a group of delivery boys. After an order is confirmed, they pick up the Prasad packed hygienically in traditional earthen pots from the temples and deliver it at various places.
The packing is such that it ensures the flavour and temperature of the food items are maintained. Group orders (a minimum of 10) are also accepted. People can places orders for lunch before 10 am on any given day through their website, Facebook page, Whatsapp and also through an Android app (TempleThali). “If an order is placed by 10 am, we deliver the prasad between 2 pm and 3 pm,” says Abhishek.
Currently, the service is limited to Bhubaneswar but the team plans to soon venture into Cuttack, Khurda, Puri, Berhampur, Balasore and Rourkela through franchise method.