Lord Venkateshwara at the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams (TTD) is noted for enticing decoration and naivedyam of sumptuous food items.
From the beginning of Suprabhata Seva to Ekantha Seava, the pujaris used to offer a wide gamut of annaprasadas, and food varieties made of flour mixed with cashew nuts or kajus.
The raw materials are procured through e-auction and from some organisations after finalising the tenders. The least bidders of the tenders would get the tenders to supply raw materials, cereals, pulses, or dal items including cashew nuts, almond and others. The materials of A 1-grade quality will be used for the preparation of the prasadams and naivedyams and food items.
The tenders called for two years to supply 1.70 lakh kg of cashew nuts for TTD and other temples towards Nitya Annadaman and other rituals.
The Bengaluru-based Hindustan Maktha clinched the tender to supply first quality cashew nuts for Rs 650 per kg and second grade for Rs 534 per kg.
And the lowest bidder has to supply the same to the TTD for the purpose.
However, an enquiry revealed that poor quality jeedipappu or kajus were supplied by the organisation which got the tender.
It created a sensation in the TTD as the officials ordered a probe.
The company supplied 150 tonnes of jeedipappu in 10 lorries to the TTD which received the stock at a warehousing office at Alipiri. When complaints reached about the poor quality with pests, CEO Jawahar Reddy and Additional EO Dharma Reddy ordered a probe for details of irregularities.
They directed for a probe on alleged irregularities of poor quality cashew nuts. The probe revealed that the supplier sent substandard quality kajus to the TTD. The TTD officials took serious note and warned of action and returned for the best quality. However, the supplier sent the same kajus of poor quality in new packings to the TTD.
Staff opened the pockets only to be surprised to see that the same kajus were returned in new pockets. It was found that some staff at the warehousing office at the Alipiri area of the TTD were involved in such malpractices.
It was found that the same poor quality kajus with Naivedyam items were sent to Govindarajula Swamy Temple. In the inquiry, it was found that some contractors with help of staff at the godown and marketing are indulging in such malpractices. As spurious kajus were used to prepare Srivari Prasadams in the process, the officials got serious on the staff.
The devotees eagerly wait for Prasadam of the Lord after worshipping and darshan at the temple. Of course, the devout used to get the darshan of the Lord and then Srivari Laddu as the blessing. There are more Prasadams, not known to the devotees, offered to Mulamurthi, and only a few of them will be given to the devotees later as a ritual. Archana Swamis used to offer these food varieties to the Lord on a routine. They offer milk, cheese, pongal, pulihora, sugar pongali to the Lord as naivedyam. It is known to a few devotees that tasty dosas and spicy pepper pongal are as naivedyam. As per Vaikhanasa tradition, the food varieties are prepared on a “woodstove”. This place is located near Srivari Garbhalaya where the devotees take rounds for the darshan. All tasty and sumptuous food varieties are prepared at this place. As per tradition, the naivedyam food items are offered first to SriBhu Varahaswamy and then to Lord Venkateshwara amid the sounds of a bell. Then as many as 50 food varieties would be presented to other deities in the temple and Bedi Anjaneya Swamy in front of the temple.
Later, the temple officials offer the prasadams like laddu, chakkera pongali, miriyala pongali, small laddus and pulihora to the devotees.
Also, those who attended the Arjita Seavas would get some other sweets and other items like jilebi, laddu, vada, dosha, murku and others.
The TTD officials ordered a fresh probe on the irregularities. It is learnt that on getting a report the TTD is to take serious action against those involved in the irregularities.