The people of Mahoba give betel leaves to the Mughals as a tax, at some places marriages do not take place without betel leaves, at some places they feed betel leaves to the dying, the smoke and fire of betel leaves is deadly.

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
7 Min Read

New Delhi: There is a legend about the betel leaf. The churning of the ocean was going on. There was a competition between the demons and the gods to extract the nectar. At the same time, paan also emerged from the churning of the ocean, due to which the surrounding environment became fragrant and everyone's enthusiasm increased after eating it. This story of betel leaf is mentioned in Skanda Purana. Later it is also mentioned in ancient Indian texts like Sushruta and Charaka Samhita. Actually, the journey of betel leaf is five thousand years old. However, its use as a mouth rinse or digestive after meals began 2,500 years ago. 40 varieties of betel leaves rule the world today.

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Sita gave paan to Hanuman and sent a message to Ram.

It is said that when Hanuman reached Lanka during the Ramayana period, he gave Ram's message to Sita. In return, Sita gave him paan to express her happiness. Everyone has different opinions about where the paan came from. Some people say it came from India while some say it came from Java Island of Indonesia. According to Marco Polo, an Italian traveler who visited the Vijayanagara Empire in the 13th century, people of India eat a special kind of leaves, which are called Tambul (Paan). Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta has also written about the paan leaf that people eat it by chewing it.

Paan is included in every ritual from birth to death.

According to Subhash Chandra Ahuja's book 'Betel leaf and betel nut in India: History and uses', betel leaves are used in India from birth celebrations to weddings. Here no religious work is complete without paan. At the same time, in Cambodia and Thailand it is fed to new mothers. Paan is also buried with the dead in the Philippines, Thailand, Bali Island, Cambodia. In Myanmar, a person who is counting the last moments of his death is bid farewell by feeding him betel leaves and giving him water. In Malaysia, betel leaves are fed to everyone for the peace of the soul of the deceased.

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Mahoba state used to give paan as tax to the Mughals.

The form in which betel leaf is eaten today with khair, lime, betel nut, cloves and cardamom is also the gift of the Mughals. Begum Noorjahan of Mughal Emperor Jahangir started the trend of eating paan in this manner. During the Mughal period, revenue was given in the form of paan from the Mahoba princely state of UP.


Betel cultivation is highest in Bihar

Betel cultivation is done the most in districts like Aurangabad, Gaya, Nalanda, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Vaishali, Hajipur of Bihar. According to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, 35 species of betel leaves are grown in India. Calcutta betel and native betel are cultivated in Hajipur. At the same time, betel leaf is also cultivated in Bundelkhand areas of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

When Amitabh became a don by singing 'Khaike Paan Banaras Wala'

Nowadays the market is full of Paan like Silver Paan, Fire Paan, Magahi Paan, Rasmalai Paan and Chocolate Paan. Actors were seen eating Paan in Bollywood films Don and Teesri Kasam. Carotene, calcium and vitamins are found in abundance in Paan leaves. It is considered very digestive.

Paan Amitabh Bacchan

This look of Big B with Paan in the movie Don was liked a lot by the audience.

Hospitality and offering to the gods with betel leaves

Folding the Paan and storing it with cloves is also an art, which is called Gilori. Hence some people made their identity by calling it Khaike Paan because it was from Banaras, whereas for some people Paan became a symbol of happiness. Offering Paan in Mysore means that you are wishing that person a happy future. Whereas, in North India Paan is an important part of hospitality. Here the offering to the gods is incomplete without Paan. Among Hindus, a marriage is not considered complete without Paan. On festivals like Dussehra, Diwali, Durga Puja, all auspicious works are started with Paan.

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How dangerous is smoke, paan or dry ice?

According to dietitian Komal Singh, nitrogen is stored at minus 150 to 250 degrees. Whereas dry ice or solid carbon dioxide freezes at very low temperatures. When paan kept at such a cold temperature is eaten, it causes the windpipe to shrink, which can cause difficulty in breathing. Sometimes breathing may also stop. Anyway, the respiratory tract or intestines of children are very delicate, in such a situation there may be swelling in the stomach or there may also be a hole in it. A hole in the stomach can also result in death. Earlier, an innocent child had lost his life after eating smoked biscuits. At the same time, some people in Gurugram started vomiting blood after eating dry ice.

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