Karnataka on Thursday announced a ban on the use of adulterated vermilion and sandalwood extracts in government-controlled temples following complaints from devotees.
“We’ve been receiving complaints from devotees that they suffered skin problems after using vermilion mixed with chemicals. So, we have issued a circular banning the use of adulterated vermilion in all temples,” Muzrai Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary told a news conference here.
Karnataka has about 35,000 temples under the Muzrai department.
“We received the highest number of complaints from Uttara Kannada district on adulterated vermilion being used in temples,” Poojary said. “It’s hard to miss vermilion that is mixed with chemicals. It is made to look attractive with bright colours,” he added.
The minister, however, clarified that identifying where such adulterated vermilion is manufactured will need a bigger, separate effort. “Our jurisdiction is confined to prohibiting the use of chemical-mixed vermilion,” he said.