Chocolate offerings in Muruga temple

Chocolate offerings in Muruga temple

Ever heard of a temple where devotees offer chocolate bars to the presiding deity?

While devotees traditionally offer flowers, sandal paste and fruit to invoke blessings, the “Thekkan Palani” Balasubramania temple differs, with devotees bringing their saviour chocolate bars instead.

Chocolate bars of a leading brand are offered and later they are distributed to devotees as “prasdam”. No wonder that the presiding deity of the shrine located in Subrahmanyapuram on the outskirts of the town is known locally as “Munch Murugan” after the popular brand of chocolate.

According to temple authorities, people, irrespective of their caste, creed and religion, visit the shrine with cartons of chocolates, seeking blessings of Lord Muruga. No one is sure about how or when the tradition of offering chocolates began. “The principal deity in the temple is ‘Balamurugan’, or Lord Muruga as a child. Somebody who thought that the child Muruga likes chocolate, might have begun the practise first,” said temple manager D Radhakrishnan. Chocolate is also used for rituals like “thulabhara” along with other traditional articles like flowers and jaggery.

A large number of devotees, even those from other states and abroad, visit the temple with boxes of chocolates.

Initially, children were the ones who offered chocolates. But now, devotees of all ages offer chocolates to Lord Muruga.