North India, it is very common to see various small roadside-stalls, named
Paan Bhandar or Paan Stall. These small shops sell Paan-
the most eaten chewing material as mouth freshener. These shops are also
centre point of meeting of many Paan lovers, who love to discuss
over various local and national issues, while relishing the wonderful
aromatic taste of Paan. These Paan lovers can easily be recognized by
their mouth expressions and red colour lips.
The history of Paan goes back to ancient times, when Scholars of
Ayurveda with the help of Dhanvantari invented this wonderful chewing
doing several experiments on rats. And Paan was found out good
for digestion. Even reference of Paan is found in Shrimad Bhagavat as
Lord Krishna used to chew. This evidence is of 5000 years ago.
Ibn-e-Batuta mentions about the ritual of serving Paan as the first
things to a guest at the time of
his arrival and departure. This is one of the customs, which is still
quite popular in Lucknow. In North India, Paan
lovers are habitual of chewing Paan after the meals. Even it is said, if Paan
delectable meal, the guest is not properly
The tradition of eating Paan was popularised by Noor-e-Jahan, the
mother of Emperor Shah-e-Jahan who built the wonder in marble- the
In olden days women used natural elements for makeup and cosmetics. Empress
Noor-e-Jahan discovered that by adding some particular ingredients to the Paan
and eating it gives a beautiful natural red colour to the lips. So along with
it's taste the Paan was eaten by women for reddening the lips.
A Paan is a leaf from a creeper called the Paan creepers, grown in hot
and humid climate but under the shade so that direct sunlight does not burn
the leaves. There are different types of Paan creepers. These different types
of Paan leaves are made into many different varieties of Paan by
various different ingredients and then folding into triangular shaped Bidas.
Generally Paan is used with catechu (kattha) and quick lime,
which brings the red color. Beetle nuts and other items like clove, cardamom,
and peppermint are added for special taste and aroma. Overall a good Paan is a
delight, which gives good aroma and pleasant red color to mouth and lips.