There a small town in Tamil Nadu, a drive away from Tiruchirappalli, which welcomes you with a mouthwatering aroma. No one is to blame if your stomach grumbles craving some yummy fried snacks at the streets adorned with freshly fried 'murukkus' – a savoury, crunchy south Indian rice snack. Manapparai, a taluk located on the Tiruchirappalli-Dindugal National Highway, is known for its distinct variety of murukku.
For the past few years, Manapparai residents have been constantly trying to acquire the World Trade Organization's Geo Index (GI) for their homemade murukku. Situated at a distance of 38 km from Tiruchirappalli, this small town has a history of making unique tasting murukkus. This special murukku was developed by a man named Mani Iyer in the first decade of the twentieth century. Today, more than 300 families in this small town are engaged in traditional murukku making. You will get murukku in various flavours and colours here.
As soon as you reach Manapparai, you will be greeted by the call of the shopkeepers inviting us to try their savoury snacks. Light yellow and orange are the most common colours. There is a secret as to why their murukku tastes this good. The groundwater here is slightly saline. That is their secret compared to the murukku available in other places.
Manapparai is also a popular cattle market in Tamil Nadu.