The famous Palani panchamirtham, given as ‘prasadam’ at the Murugan temple there, has been granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
This is the first time a temple ‘prasadam’ from Tamil Nadu has been bestowed with the GI tag. The application was filed by the Joint Commissioner/Executive Officer, Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Thirukkoil, North Giriveethi, Adivaram, Palani.
Chinnaraja G. Naidu, Deputy Registrar of Geographical Indications, confirmed that the GI tag had been given for the panchamirtham.
“The certificate will be posted on the GI website soon,” he said.
The panchamirtham is a combination of five natural substances — banana, jaggery, cow ghee, honey and cardamom. Dates and diamond sugar candies are added for flavour.
The panchamirtham is an ‘abhishega prasadam’ (food that is a religious offering), which is served in a semi-solid state. It is sweet in taste and one of the main offerings for Lord Dhandayuthapani Swamy, the presiding deity of Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple, situated on Palani Hills.
Not even a single drop of water is added during the preparation of the panchamirtham. This gives it its classic semi-solid consistency and taste. No preservatives or artificial ingredients are used.
As per the GI application, the geographical area for production of panchamirtham is Palani town in Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu. It lies within latitude of 10.44 ° and longitude of 77.52 °.
According to the GI application filed, the Palani panchamirtham is prepared under the guidance given by the CFTRI (Central Food Technological Research Institute) Mysore, a government of India undertaking.
The whole process of producing the panchamirtham is automated. It is doubly ensured that the hygienic aspects are maintained. Devotees who visit the temple are offered the panchamirtham as a prasadam in the hill temple as well as in stalls run by temple administration at Adivaram. Is is believed that the panchamirtham cures diseases of devotees.
Chennai-based IP attorney P. Sanjai Gandhi pointed out that the GI tag would boost the local economy in Palani. He added, “Tamil Nadu has so many temples, mosques and churches. Each of them has a unique historic origin.”