Atchadai is the mixture of rice with turmeric. It is considered as the sacred rice, which would be sprinkled on the heads of the newly wedded couple, during marriage functions, as an act of blessing them. It is being done like that, in order to express our heartiest wishes, and it is believed that sprinkling of Atchadai would give great prosperity in the lives of the married couple. Atchadai also would be given in the temples when we participate in any pujas or homams.
It is also used during celebration of any pujas or festivals in our homes, especially during Navaratri puja festival days. Atchadai would be mostly distributed in Mantralayam and in other Raghavendra Mutts, along with Tulsi Teertham.
Most of the devotees would mix the atchadai Prasad along with raw rice and after cooking it, would consume it, with the belief that they would get good physique. During the British rule, once when the British rulers asked Sir Thomas Munro to make an enquiry into the Mantralayam Temple, in order to take possession of the temple properties. When Sir Thomas Munro went inside the Mutt, Guru Raghavendra had appeared before him, blessed him and gave him the Atchadai, and also properly explained about the details of properties of the Mutt. But Guru Raghavendra was visible only before the eyes of Munro, and he was not visible to others.
After getting the Atchadai from the holy hands of Guru Raghavendra, he asked his servant to add the Prasad while cooking food for him. After eating the food, he got great peace of mind, and immediately recommended to his higher authorities not to take possession of the Mutt’s properties by the British Government.
It is also believed that Ma Lakshmi dwells in the holy Atchadai. We can also receive the blessings from our elders by making them to put Atchadai on our heads. There are lots and lots of sacred things available in our holy Hinduism. Among that, Atchadai is considered as a most important sacred thing, which is mostly used in auspicious days and in important festival events.