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Tamil Nadu, located in the southern part of India, has a rich cultural heritage and is known for its traditional art forms, handicrafts, and cuisine. To protect and promote the unique identity of its products, Tamil Nadu has obtained Geographical Indication (GI) tags for several of them. These products range from textiles like Kanchipuram silk sarees and Madurai Sungudi sarees to handicrafts like Thanjavur paintings and Chettinad Kottan baskets, and food products like Dindigul lock pepper and Madurai jasmine. The GI tag ensures that these products are authentic and of high quality, and helps to boost the local economy by providing recognition and increased demand for them.

Benefits of GI Tag

The following advantages result from the registration of a geographic indication:

1. Legal Protection of Products

2. GI tag prevents unauthorized use of products by others

3. It helps consumers get quality products of desired characteristics and ensures reliability

4. GI tag promotes the economic prosperity of producers of products by increasing their demand in national and international markets.

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List of GI Tag in Tamilnadu

In 2023, various products received GI tags from various districts in Tamil Nadu. GI Tag is an abbreviation of Geographical Indications in India. It came into force on September 15, 2003. Darjeeling tea is the first Indian product to get a GI tag. See the list below,

S.No.GI TagDescription
1.Salem FabricHandicraft
2.Kancheepuram SilkHandicraft
3.Bhavani JamakkalamHandicraft
4.Madurai SungudiHandicraft
5.Coimbatore Wet GrinderManufactured
6.Thanjavur PaintingsHandicraft
7.Temple Jewellery of NagercoilHandicraft
8.Thanjavur Art PlateHandicraft
9.E. I. LeatherManufactured
10.Salem silkHandicraft
11.Kovai Cora CottonHandicraft
12.Arani Silk HandicraftHandicraft
13.Swamimalai Bronze IconsAgricultural
14.Eathomozhy Tall CoconutAgricultural
15.Thanjavur Doll HandicraftHandicraft
16.Nilgiri(Orthodox) LogoAgricultural
17.Virupakshi Hill BananaAgricultural
18.Sirumalai Hill BananaAgricultural
19.Madurai MalliAgricultural
20.Pattamadai Pai (‘Pattamadai Mat’)Handicraft
21.Nachiarkoil Kuthuvilakku (‘Nachiarkoil Lamp’)Handicraft
22.Chettinad KottanHandicraft
23.Toda Embroidery tHandicraft
24.Thanjavur VeenaiHandicraft
25.Malabar PepperAgricultural
26.Thanjavur Art Plate LogoHandicraft
27.Swamimalai Bronze Icons LogoHandicraft
28.Temple Jewellery of Nagercoil LogoHandicraft
29.Mahabalipuram Stone SculptureHandicraft
30.Erode Manjal(Erode Turmeric)Agricultural
31.Thirubuvanam Silk SareesHandicraft
32.Kodaikanal Malai PoonduAgricultural
33.Palani PanchamirthamFood Stuff
34.Dindigul LocksManufactured
35.Kandangi SareesHandicraft
36.Sirivilliputtur PalakovaFoodstuff
37.Kovilpatti Kadalai MittaiFoodstuff
38.Thanjavur Pith WorksHandicraft
39.Arumbavur Wood CarvingsHandicraft
40Karuppur kalamkari paintingsDye-painted figurative and patterned cloth (Painting)
41Kallakurichi wood carvingsHandicrafts & Art
42Kanniyakumari CloveFoodstuff

Expanding the Tamil Nadu GI Family: 11 New Products to Join the Ranks

According to P Sanjai Gandhi, the head of the Intellectual Property Rights Attorney Association (IPRAA), Chennai, a total of 11 items from the state would soon have the geographical indication (GI) label. With 56 products included in the list, Tamil Nadu would overtake Karnataka to become the state with the most GI tags, Sanjai Gandhi noted. 

The 11 products to be awarded the GI tag are Manapparai murukku of Tiruchy district, Thaikkal Rattan craft of Mayiladuthurai, Auhtoor Vetrilai (betel leaf) of Thoothukudi, Sholavandan Vetrilai, Cumbum Panner Grapes, Negamam cotton sarees, Ooty Varkey, Myladi stone carvings, Salem Sago (Javvarisi), Marthandam honey and Manamadurai pottery.

Note that the application for Manapparai “Murukku,” a snack comprised of urad dal and rice flour, was submitted back in 2014. According to Gandhi, the ‘Murukku’ gets its distinct flavor from the Manapparai region’s groundwater. 

FAQs on GI Tag in Tamilnadu

How does a product obtain a GI tag?

To obtain a GI tag, the product must be registered with the Geographical Indications Registry office, and it must meet certain criteria, such as being unique to the region and having a certain level of quality or reputation.

What are some of the products that have obtained a GI tag in Tamil Nadu?

Tamil Nadu has several products that have obtained GI tags, including Kancheepuram Silk Sarees, Madurai Sungudi Sarees, Thanjavur Paintings, Salem Fabric, Kovilpatti Kadalai Mittai, and more.

What is the significance of a GI tag?

A GI tag is significant because it helps to protect the identity and uniqueness of a product, and it also helps to promote the economic development of the region where the product is produced.

Which product in Tamil Nadu received the first GI tag?

Salem fabric was the first product type to get the first GI tag in Tamil Nadu

What is Pathamadai Mat?

The product from Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, with GI registration, is called “pathamadai pai” (mat). The pathamadai mat is renowned across the world for its distinctive qualities, including softness, flexibility, and health advantages like body cooling. The mat is created from ‘Korai’ grass, a native type that naturally grows along the Tamirabarani River’s banks. In 2013, the mat was registered with GI.

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