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The board hopes that with this move, it would be able to check the black marketing of the prasadam.

TTD mulls offering one free Tirupati laddu to each devotee who visits TirumalaImage: TTD
news Religion Wednesday, January 01, 2020 - 09:29

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which oversees affairs at the Sri Venkateswara temple in Andhra Pradesh, has decided to offer a free ‘laddu’ to all devotees, in what can be dubbed a new year gift.

According to reports, the TTD is likely to roll out the scheme on 'Vaikunta Ekadashi', which falls on January 6, and is considered to be an auspicious occasion. Some reports also suggested that the scheme may be rolled out on the eve of Sankranti on January 15.

At present, only those who undertake the pilgrimage by foot to reach the top of the hill are provided with one free laddu. If implemented, the TTD would be providing the 80,000 to 1 lakh laddus to the devotees who visit the temple each day.

The board also hopes that with this move, it would be able to check the black marketing of the prasadam.

Additional laddus are provided to devotees at present, only if they possess a recommendation letter endorsed by certain TTD officials. The board is also planning to change this, suggesting that while one laddu will be given free of cost to the devotees, they can purchase any number of additional laddus for Rs 50 each, without any recommendation letter.

In November last year, the vigilance and security wing of the TTD admitted that close to 26,000 of its famed laddus were misappropriated by contract and permanent employees, in a major scam.

The laddus were reported to be worth Rs 14 lakh and were said to have been misappropriated during the Navaratri Brahmotsavam, when the temple sees a massive influx of pilgrims.

The TTD's website says that around 3 lakh laddus are sold every day on an average in Tirumala.

The laddu, introduced on August 2, 1715, is a major source of the TTD's revenue and adds several crore rupees to its annual budget. It is made with flour, sugar, ghee, oil, cardamom and dry fruits. 

Read: Tirupati laddu scam: Famous laddus worth lakhs of rupees sold in black?

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