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Tamil Nadu's Palani Panchamirtham, Kerala Tirur betel leaf get GI tag

Palani Panchamirtham, a temple prasadam from Tamil Nadu, Kerala’s Tirur betel leaf and two other products have been awarded Geographical Indication (GI) tag, the Commerce Ministry said on Friday (August 16).

The move is expected to help producers get maximum price for their premium produce. The two other products that received the tag include Tawlhlohpuan and Mizo Puanchei from Mizoram.

GI is an indication used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality.

Palani Panchamirtham, a prasadam which is a main offering in the Abisegam of Lord Dhandayuthapani Swamy, the presiding deity of Arulmigu Dhandayuthapaniswamy Temple, situated in Palani Hills.

It is a combination of five natural substances – banana, jaggery, cow ghee, honey and cardamom in a definite proportion. It is prepared in a natural method without addition of any preservatives or artificial ingredients and is well known for its religious fervour and gaiety.

“This is the first time a temple prasadam from Tamil Nadu has been bestowed with the GI tag,” the ministry said.

Tawlhlohpuan, a medium to heavy, compactly woven, good quality fabric from Mizoram is known for warp yarns, warping, weaving and intricate designs that are made by hand.

Tawlhloh, in Mizo language, means to stand firm or not to move backward. Tawlhlohpuan, which holds high significance in the Mizo society, is produced throughout the state of Mizoram. Aizawl and Thenzawl town are the main centre of production.

Mizo Puanchei, a colourful Mizo shawl/textile is considered as the most colourful among the Mizo textiles. It is an essential possession for every Mizo lady and an important marriage outfit in the state. It is also the most commonly used costume in Mizo festive dances and official ceremonies.

The weavers insert the designs and motifs by using supplementary yarns while weaving to create this beautiful and alluring textile.

Tirur betel vine from Kerala, which is mainly cultivated in Tirur, Tanur, Tirurangadi, Kuttippuram, Malappuram and Vengara block panchayaths of Malappuram district, is valued both for its mild stimulant action and medicinal properties.

Even though it is commonly used for making pan masala for chewing, it has many medicinal, industrial and cultural usages and is considered as a remedy for bad breath and digestive disorders.

“GI products can benefit the rural economy in remote areas, by supplementing the incomes of artisans, farmers, weavers and craftsmen,” it said.

Darjeeling Tea, Tirupathi Laddu, Kangra Paintings, Nagpur Orange and Kashmir Pashmina are among other registered GIs in India.

Experts said that the award of GI tag gives protection to the producers of those genuine products which command premium pricing in both domestic and international markets.

Once the GI protection is granted, no other producer can misuse the name to market similar products. It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product, National Intellectual Property Organisation (NIPO) President T.C. James said. Such products also get premium pricing in the markets, he added.

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