TIRUPATI: The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) is changing with the changing times by adopting new methods taking advantage of advancements in technology. Earlier, laddu was made on ovens using firewood as fuel. Then, it was made using LPG. Now, it would be made on thermic fluid heaters. A new ‘Boondhi Potu’ (kitchen) would be constructed at a cost of Rs 21.75 crore, with modern equipment to help produce more laddus and prevent damage to the main temple.
Currently, 3,75,000 laddus are prepared daily for distribution as prasadam to pilgrims. In the last week of September, 5.17 lakh laddus were distributed. The demand goes up during Brahmotsavams, Vaikunta Ekadasi, summer holidays, year-end rush, Peratasi Saturdays and other important days.
It is said that thermic fluid heaters do not generate flames and the frying pan is heated through heat transfer from heated thermic fluid circulated through coil around the heater. The heat radiated from thermic fluid heater is less than that from gas stoves and hence provide relatively comfortable environment for Potu workers.
There is also a provision for the artificial fresh air circulation system to reduce heat effect in the kitchen.
The TTD is of the view that it is necessary to set up thermic fluid heaters to increase production of laddus. When any new initiative is launched, there will be opposition from some quarters, but the devotees have welcomed the earlier changes and one hopes that they would do so now.
Plans are afoot to make laddus from the temple precincts. Seven years ago, when ‘Boondhi Potu’ was constructed, the TTD had stated that they prepared only boondhi outside and sent the same inside the temple where sugar syrup was prepared for making laddu prasadam.
Speaking to Express, an official, on condition of anonymity, said that when Mahaprakaram construction is taken up, the Pushkarini, ‘Boondhi Potu’ complex and other areas would come inside the complex. So, it is believed that the making of laddu would not come out of the temple building.
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams has allotted Rs 21.75 crore for construction of ‘Boondhi Potu’ (kitchen) complex.