Karnataka bans ‘adulterated’ vermilion in temples

Representative image. (Reuters photo)

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. 

Karnataka has about 35,000 temples under the Muzrai department. 

“We received highest complaints from Uttara Kannada on adulterated vermilion being used in temples,” Poojary said. “It’s hard to miss vermilion that is mixed with chemicals. It makes vermilion 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 chemically-mixed vermilion,” he said. 

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