Srivari Laddu or Tirupati Laddu is revered and loved as much as Lord Sri Venkateshwaraswamy! It is the most cherished and relished Laddu and Prasadam in the world. Its flavour is unique and extraordinary. Every devotee who visits Tirumala loves to receive Srivari Laddu Prasadam, which is said to be Sri Venkateshwaraswamy’s favourite Naivedyam. It is said that by consuming Laddu Prasadam a devotee forgets all the sorrow and hardships he may have suffered in travelling from his home and in climbing the seven hills to reach Tirumala and have the Darshan of Lord Sri Venkateshwaraswamy. And this Prasadam would also enable him to get back to his destination in a pleasant and joyful manner remembering his Darshan and wishing for a return journey to Tirumala at the earliest. Devotees also try to carry home as many Laddus as possible for themselves and to distribute among relatives, friends and colleagues as Prasadam, which is customary after any pilgrimage. Friends, relatives and colleagues are very pleased to receive Tirupati Laddu Prasadam even if it is in a very small quantity.
After Darshanam of Lord Sri Venkateshwaraswamy a small quantity of Prasadam is distributed within the main Temple premises to each pilgrim free of cost, it could be a very small Laddu or any other Prasadam like Pulihora, Daddhojanam, Pongal or Chakkari Pongali. Devotees who perform Arjitha Sevas are required to go to the Laddu counter complex adjacent to the Temple and collect Laddus as per the Seva they have performed by surrendering their Seva Ticket. For most Sevas, 2 Nos. - Small Laddus each weighing 180 gms. are given but for those who perform Kalyanotsavam, 2 Nos. - Big Laddus each weighing 700 gms., 5 Nos. – Small Laddus and two Vadas are given. The pictures attached to this article are of Kalyanotsavam Laddu and Vada. The weight of the Laddu in the above picture is 623 gms. because we have eaten a few peripheral Cashew nuts and Almonds! and then some of the Laddu got trimmed into the bag! And for those who go for Sarvadarshanam and Sudarshana Chakra darshanam I am told that they get one free Laddu-Small and can additionally buy two small Laddus at Rs. 10/- each.
The demand for this delicious Laddu Prasadam is so high, that about 150,000 Laddus are made every day at Tirumala. What makes it so special is a 300 year old rich recipe, consisting of Besan flour, Sugar, Ghee, Sugar candy, Cashew nuts, Almonds, Cardamom and Raisins.
P.S. Prasadam literally means a gracious gift. Anything, and at Temples it is usually food that is first offered to God, the presiding deity as ‘Naivedyam’ and then distributed to the devotees in the name of God or Goddess as a blessing. It is said and universally believed that God’s blessing resides in the Prasadam. The two major motivations of pilgrimage and visits to Temples are to have Darshanam of the presiding God and seek blessings and then obtain his divine Prasadam for themselves, family, friends and relatives.