Valanjeri: With the beginning of two-month-long Sabarimala mandalam season, stores selling pooja items are abuzz with activity.
Though traders are trying up stock up on kettunira materials and other pooja items, the implementation of GST has resulted in prices of most items going up.
From the previous year's rates, most items are 10% to 15% costlier. The price of clarified butter used for filling the 'neytenga' has gone up by Rs 50. Last year, a kilo of clarified butter cost Rs 480.
Unakkalari (raw rice) that sold for Rs 46 last year is selling for Rs 56. The price of aval (rice flakes) has increased by Rs 4 and is now available for Rs 44 a kg from last year's Rs40.
There is a Rs 10 increase for malar (puffed grain) -- from Rs 90 last year it is now selling for Rs 100. Prices of kalkanadam (sugar candy), grapes, jaggery, rose water, basmam (ash), karpooram (camphor), incense sticks, pepper, cork, lac, thread and kadalipazham (plantain fruit) are stable. Irumudi prices start from Rs 70.
The shoulder bag is costlier by Rs 10 and now sells for Rs 70 a piece. Sheets are available in the Rs100-Rs 480 range. Tulsi is in great demand for vratamala; a tulsi mala with 108 beads will cost Rs 55, and one with 54 beads cost Rs 40. Rudraksh mala is sold for Rs 60; one with 54 beads sells for Rs 40. Red sandalwood chains are also available; one with 108 beads costs Rs 60 and the one with 54 beads costs Rs 40.