A temple ‘prasadam’ from Tamil Nadu, a woven fabric and a colourful shawl from Mizoram and a betel vine from Kerala are the latest products to have been granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the government.

A GI product is recognised as originating from a specific geographical origin possessing qualities or reputation related to its origin. The GI tag is exclusive and a similar item originating from a different location is not allowed to use it.

“The GI under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has recently registered four new GIs. Palani Panchamirtham from Palani Town in Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu, Tawlhlohpuan and Mizo Puanchei from the State of Mizoram and Tirur betel leaf from Kerala are the latest additions to the list of registered GIs,” according to an official release.

Palani Panchamirtham , an ‘abisega prasadam’ from Palani Town is one of the main offerings to Lord Dhandayuthapani Swamy, the presiding deity of Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple, situated in Palani Hills, Palani Town in Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu.

“It is a combination of five natural substances, namely, banana, jaggery sugar, 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 the GI tag,” the release said.

Tawlhlohpuan , a compactly woven fabric from Mizoram, is known for warp yarns, warping, weaving and intricate designs that are made by hand, the release said. Tawlhlohpuan , which holds high significance in the Mizo society, is produced throughout the Mizoram — Aizawl and Thenzawl town being the main centres of production.

The second product originating from Mizoram extended the GI status is the Mizo Puanchei , a colourful Mizo shawl considered essential by most women from the State and a common 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,” the release said.

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.

“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,” the release said.

GI products can benefit the rural economy in remote areas, by supplementing the incomes of artisans, farmers, weavers and craftsmen and the DPIIT has been taking initiatives to promote and market GI products.