Bhubaneswar: What’s ‘Raja’ without ‘Paan’ (betel leaf)? And no it’s not about addiction, but a cultural tradition woven into the three-day festival in Odisha.
People who do not even partake of Paan (betel) in general, make it a point to have one on Raja. Odias also present Paan to others as a way of greeting on this occasion.
Here’s two places in Bhubaneswar serving capital ‘Raja Paan’ that you simply can’t afford to miss:
Banarasi Paan Bhandar At Saheed Nagar
In this scorching heat, Ramakant Senapati of Banarasi Paan Bhandar serves Ice Paan as well as Frozen Paan with white caramel, black forest.
Another specialty of Banarasi Paan Bhandar is Ladoo Paan. You can store it at home up to three months, claims the shop owner.
To attract customers, Ramakant also offers a ‘Fire Paan’. The price of Ice Paan, Frozen Paan and Fire Paan is Rs 30 per piece.
Besides, different varieties like Dilkhus Paan, Dil Diwana, Paan Shots, Paan Lasi, Paan Shake, Rasmalai Paan and Rabidi Paan, etc are also available in his shop.
The price of ‘Mitha Paan’ (sweet Paan) ranges between Rs 15 to Rs 125, depending on the ingredients a customer wants. Likewise, the prices of different flavoured Paan are between Rs 20 and Rs 25.
The people of twin cities, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, can also order Paan online from the website uphar.com. The customer can get the Paan within four hours, said Ramakant. For easy access, an app is also available for ordering Paan.
Demand of these Paan are so high that within four to five hours in the morning of Pahili Raja, around 250 Paan have been supplied online, he reveals.
Around 2,000 pieces of Paan are sold from the shop each day during the festival, said Ramakant.
Gourahari Pradhan’s Paan Shop At CRP Square
Gourahari Pradhan, who has been selling Paan at CRP Square since the past 30 years, is also ready with his choicest Raja offerings.
The specialty of Gourahari’s shop is the different shapes of Paan.
He sells Paan in the shapes of star, boat, sweets, etc. The prices of these Paan range between Rs 10 and Rs 250.
He uses spices (Paan Masala) like Gabha Jeli, Khajuri Maka, chicken supari, blackberry jelly, orange jelly and many more to add that special zing.
Gpurahari is famous for the flavored Paan in his shop.
Besides, Raja Paan are also available at different shops at Rajmahal Square, Master Canteen Square, near Kesari cinema hall, Acharya Vihar, Nayapalli area, Pantha Nibas and other places in the Odisha capital.