The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department has advised temples to ensure uniformity in the size and quantity of prasadham sold on their premises. They have also asked for quality be given top priority.

Some 250 major temples in the State sell such various items, including murukku, thattai, laddu and appam. The concept is to make these items in the temple’s madapalli (kitchen) and offer them to the gods as neivedhya and then sell them to the public. “Earlier, they used to be distributed free of cost. Nowadays, the free distribution continues, but temples are also selling prasadham as it brings revenue,” explained a retired HR and CE official.

The directive comes as the fasli year (accounting year of temples from July 1-June 30) comes to an end and contracts for such eatables are given or renewed. “We have given training to contractors who prepare and sell these items and told them and temple authorities to ensure prices are not exorbitant,” M. Veera Shanmuga Moni, Commissioner HR and CE, said.

Nominal increase

The standardisation may lead to a nominal increase in cost. “That would perhaps be a rupee or two. As far as quality is concerned, respective temple administrations are constantly on the watch and there have been instances of tenders being cancelled half way and temples themselves taking up sales. At the Meenakshi Amman in Madurai and at the Arunachaleswarar temple in Tiruvannamalai, prasadham is made and sold by the temple managements themselves,” he added.