Another sweet triumph for Ayodhya: Hanumangarhi Laddu inches closer to join elite GI tag club
Crafted by about 200 dedicated Ayodhya residents, the Hanumangarhi Laddu is made from locally-produced gram flour and desi ghee. These handmade delights are specially prepared for the bhog (offering) to Lord Hanuman at the revered Hanuman Garhi temple in Ayodhya.
As Ayodhya gears up for the much-awaited consecration ceremony of the Ram temple on January 22, there is another reason for celebration in the holy city. The renowned Hanumangarhi Laddu, a local delicacy, is on track to receive the esteemed Geographical Indication (GI) tag, bringing joy to the hearts of Ayodhya residents. The application for this coveted recognition was recently accepted by the GI Registry in Chennai, marking a significant milestone for the iconic sweet.
Crafted by about 200 dedicated Ayodhya residents, the Hanumangarhi Laddu is made from locally-produced gram flour and desi ghee. These handmade delights are specially prepared for the bhog (offering) to Lord Hanuman at the revered Hanuman Garhi temple in Ayodhya. The meticulous process involves ensuring uniform shape and size, with an impressive daily production of 20-25 quintals of laddus.
The application for the GI tag was submitted by the Halwai Kalyan Samiti of Ayodhya under the category of foodstuffs. According to Rajni Kant, a GI expert and the General Secretary of the Human Welfare Association (HWA), the acceptance of the application by the GI Registry in Chennai aligns fortuitously with the approaching Prana Pratishtha ceremony of Lord Shri Ram. Kant expressed gratitude for the timely acceptance of the application and highlighted the significance of this achievement.
"It is our luck and the merit of our ancestors that we have got the opportunity to get the acceptance of GI registration of Ayodhya Hanumangarhi Laddus in this historical month when the time of Prana Pratishtha ceremony of Lord Shri Ram is approaching," Rajni Kant told TOI.
"We had resolved in our mind that before going to Ayodhya for this sacred ceremony, the GI application for Hanuman Garhi Laddu should be submitted and accepted by GI Registry Chennai. Today we received the authorized information about its acceptance," he added.
The much-anticipated Geographical Indication (GI) certification is expected to be concluded within a few months. The Halwai Kalyan Samiti of Ayodhya submitted the application under the foodstuffs category.
Padma Shri awardee Rajni Kant, recognized as the GI Man of India, told TOI, "The team had been working for months for the documentation of these goods for GI registration."
The initiative to secure the GI tag for Ayodhya Hanumangarhi Laddus has received financial support from the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), Uttar Pradesh. The Varanasi-based Human Welfare Association has played a crucial role in facilitating the process.
Rajni Kant has played a crucial role in filing 215 applications from 21 states, including the northeast, for GI certification. He is credited with securing the GI certification for approximately 72 goods from various states across the country. The GI certification serves as a global testament to the uniqueness of these goods, representing specific cultures, societies, or crafts. Notably, Jalesar Metal Craft of Uttar Pradesh recently joined this exclusive group with its 2,100 kg giant metal bell, slated for donation to the Ayodhya Ram Mandir, hailing from the Etah district.
As a fervent promoter of GI crafts, Rajni Kant has extensively traveled to international events in Indonesia, Singapore, Germany, Israel, Abu Dhabi, and Turkey. His contributions have been acknowledged with the National Intellectual Property award in 2017, the Samay Udyami award in 2012 as the best social entrepreneur, and the Lokmat Samman in 2018.
As Ayodhya eagerly awaits the consecration ceremony of the Ram temple, the news of the Hanumangarhi Laddu's progress toward obtaining the prestigious Geographical Indication tag adds a sweet touch to the festivities. This recognition not only celebrates the culinary excellence of Ayodhya but also contributes to preserving and promoting the unique cultural heritage associated with this traditional delicacy.