n 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 material after

A small Paan Shop

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 is not
Special Bidas of Lucknow served after a delectable meal, the guest is not properly welcome.

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 Taj Mahal.

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
adding 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.

Various ingredients- different combinations of these make different types of paans


Auspicious Colours   Mehndi   Celebrating Indian Tastes
Cricket Mania   India on Rails   The Hindu Marriage
Paan Chewing   Colourful Bazaars   Sadhus  
The Ganga   Indian Villages   The Holy Cow  
Jungle is calling   The Tilak   Kite Flying  
Traditional Wearing  



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