Uttarakhand, formerly known as Uttaranchal and often known as ‘Dev Bhoomi’ or ‘Land of the Gods’, is a northern state of India, known for its variety of Hindu temples and pilgrimage centres; and its natural environment of the Himalayas, Bhabar and the Terai regions. Being the 20th most populous state in India, Uttarakhand is bordered by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the north; Sudurpashchim Pradesh of Nepal in the east; Uttar Pradesh to the south and Himachal Pradesh to the west and north-east. Uttarakhand has been prized with two GI Tags- one being Basmati and the latest being Uttarakhand Tejpat.
An application for a GI Tag for “Uttarakhand Jyan Salt Tea” was also filed, however, the Geographical Indications Registry of Chennai rejected it in 2020 (click here to access documents). It is an agricultural product and its application for GI Tag was filed by Hinwal Nidhi Swayat Sahkarita and Neo Integrated Development of Himalaya Society on 27th May, 2019. The Expert Committee, after considering the submissions made by the representative of the applicant and after making deliberations and verifications of documents, held that the product does not qualify as a Geographical Indication provided under Section 2(e) of the Act. The Committee also stated that because of the absence of any historical reputation of this ‘coined terminology’, GI Tag cannot be granted to this product. Application details of ‘Uttarakhand Jyan Salt Tea’ are mentioned below-
|Geographical Indications||Uttarakhand Jyan Salt Tea|
|Applicant Name||1. Hinwal Nidhi Swayat Sahkarita; 2. Neo Integrated Development of Himalaya Society|
|Applicant Address||1. Mukhya Bazar, Munasyari, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, India; 2. Pilkha Sadan, Chimsya Naula, College Road, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, India|
|Date of Filing||27-05-2019|
The Uttarakhand Tejpat is also an agricultural product whose application for GI Tag was filed by Tejpat Utpadak Samiti on 27th January, 2015. The product was certified on 31st May, 2016 [Certificate]. The Application Details for ‘Uttarakhand Tejpat’ are mentioned below-
|Geographical Indications||Uttarakhand Tejpat|
|Applicant Name||Tejpat Utpadak Samiti|
|Applicant Address||Parmar Bhawan, Mandir Marg, Gopeshwar, District: Chamoli – 246401, Uttarakhand, India|
|Date of Filing||27-01-2015|
|Registration Valid Upto||26-01-2025|
Uttarakhand Tejpat, belonging to the chemotype known as ‘Cinnamaldehyde type’, has its existence in the Himalayan Region, from 500m to 2400m of altitude in the State of Uttarakhand. Collected from both wild and cultivated plantations, Uttarakhand Tejpat is popularly known as ‘Meetha Tejpat’ due to the presence of ‘Cinnamaldehyde’, and is mainly used for the manufacture of ‘Chavanprash’ and other medicines. It is also used in the Spice industry.
Belonging to the family of Lauraceae, Uttarakhand Tejpat is a small or perennial evergreen tree with a height of 8-12 meters and a girth of 110-150 cm. Its harvesting time begins from October-December or up to February-March, predominantly during dry periods. Talking about the odour and taste of leaves, it varies with chemotype and has wide variations. The Bark Oil of the plant possesses the delicate aroma of the spice, sweet and pungent taste also the leaf oil has a warm, spicy and harsh aroma and is known as ‘Tejpat Oil’.
Uttarakhand Tejpat has existed for hundreds of years and has been known for its medicinal and culinary properties. It is used in the flavouring industry specifically for the preparation of meats, fast food seasoning and savoury snacks, sausage, sauces and pickles, baked goods, confectionery, beverages, cola-type drinks, and tobacco flavours. It is also used as a natural food preservative for pineapple juice. Both leaf oil and bark oil, due to the presence of Eugenol, are used as an analgesic in dental preparations and also in pharmaceutical industries. The essential oil is extensively used as a fragrance component in soaps, detergents, cosmetics, toothpaste, insecticides, insect repellent and industrial fragrances and also in the flavouring and formulation of liquors and confectionaries. Additionally, it provides an excellent habitat for a large number of frugivorous birds and small mammals, which facilitate its regeneration in turn.
Not only is it an important cuisine ingredient used in India, but is also exported to many countries in the world such as UK, USA, Japan, Europe, Australia, Russia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Middle East, etc. In Northern India, Uttarakhand Tejpat is an essential ingredient of Mughal cuisine along with cloves and cardamom. Mainly used in the food preparation of ‘biryani’, it is popularly known as ‘biryani leaf’ in some parts of the country.
The leaves of the plant possess astringent, digestive, stimulant, carminative, anti-flatulent, antioxygenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-dermatophytic, anti-hyper cholestrolaemic, anti-ulcer, anti-carcinogenic and diuretic properties which helps in curing colic pain, diarrhoea, rheumatism, irritation, boils, conjunctivitis, itching, anorexia, bladder disorders, dryness of mouth, loryza, nausea and spermatohoea. It also cures diseases related to the anus and rectum, piles, heart problems, ozonea and bad taste. Also, the leaf oil helps in curing fever, fractures, eye disease, foul odour of body, diseases of the oral cavity, dropsy, herpes, and in disorders of breast milk.
Lastly, Uttarakhand Tejpat is grown on loamy soil containing high moisture content, however, at times, these also grow in poor and degraded soils and annually 9-25 kgs of leaves are collected from a tree.
GI Tags of Uttarakhand are-