Friday, 23 April 2021

Text-books, Torture, And Rasgulla GI Tag #RasagolaA2Z

Rasgulla, being the 'king of sweets', is a favourite sweet and popular treat for many.

Rasgulla makes its rich presence felt in many occasions, events, and celebrations.

But, before 2015, when we celebrated #RasagolaDibasa online, very few even associated Odisha with Rasagola.

Ever wonder why and how is it that Odisha is never the top-of-mind recall when Rasgulla is discussed?


Rasgulla finds generous mention in the text-books.

My friend, Smt. Sujata Padhy, informed me that her daughter's text-book has a question about Rasgulla. I requested her to share a photograph of the said question. 

She sent the following image of the said page from her daughter's Std III Social Studies text-book:

I have been researching about Rasagola for long and have been thinking a lot about what is being taught, especially after finding more such questions and text from text-books-

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Rasgulla Songs - Odia Songs Dedicated To Rasagola #RasagolaA2Z

Despite being the birthplace of Rasagola, Odisha did not have many songs dedicated to Rasagola. 
However, thanks to our celebration of #RasagolaDibasa online from 2015 onwards, the "Rasgulla debate/controversy" was sparked, and now there are many songs in honour of this sweet delicacy.
Rasgulla songs have not only been created in Odia language, but in many other languages of India also. 

Just do a simple search for Rasgulla songs on Google/YouTube. How many results can you find?

The activism and advocacy for Rasagola Dibasa celebration and for Odisha Rasagola Geographical Indication (GI) tag resulted in some creative song and music endeavour. 
Some of them are shared below:

1) Rasagola Song 

Rapper Big Deal included Rasagola in his rap song.
From 2015, this writer has been contacting stakeholders and eminent personalities of different fields and sensitizing them about the Rasagola issue and requesting for support for representation of Rasagola and Odisha in the media. 
Audio visual media like songs, documentaries, movies etc. have a great impact. 

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Rasabali And Rasagola #RasagolaA2Z

Odisha has many sweets and treats.

Most people are yet to be introduced to the rich cuisine of Odisha.

Odisha has many sweets starting with the word- Rasa.

You can learn more about them in this post- Rasa, Rasakora, Rasabara, And Rasagola in Odia 

Rasabali and Rasagola are traditional sweets of Odisha that are prepared using cottage-cheese i.e. chhena. They have been offered as bhog/prasad for centuries at important temples namely- Shree Baladevjew Temple, Kendrapara, & Shree Jagannatha Temple, Puri.

But, many are yet to taste these Odia sweets.

As this writer has been constantly stressing, we need to promote these by ensuring branding and uniform spelling all across-

Rasabali (not Rasavali or Rasaballi etc.) & Rasagola (not Rasogolla or Rosogolla etc.)

Breaking News

The ‘Breaking News’ confirmed about alien-invasion.

Photo Prompt- David Stewart

No one could explain how so many fluorescent eggs had landed.

CCTV footage showed an UFO.

The mysterious UFO was undetected by any radar.

What would the eggs hatch into? Was this a plan to takeover our planet?

Lini was startled to see the uncanny news.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Quiz About Rasgulla #RasagolaA2Z

Many Quiz books have the correct information that- Odisha is the birthplace of Rasgulla/Rasagola.  

Here is one of the questions of the first Odisha Quiz that I had conducted on Twitter in 2014-

How many answers you know about the "King of Sweets"- Rasgulla?

It is called "Rasagola" in Odisha.

Let us check your RQ- Rasagola Quotient :)


Q1- Odisha Rasagola has got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2019- 

A) True

B) False 

Q2- Name the place in Odisha where Padma Shri Sudarsan Pattnaik, sand-artist, has created these sand art-

Monday, 19 April 2021

Proposal To Odisha Government For Rasagola And GI Celebration #RasagolaA2Z

We have been celebrating Rasagola Dibasa on Social Media on Niladri Bije starting 2015.
July 30, 2015 was the Niladri Bije of the Nabakalebara Ratha Jatra.
This year 2021 will mark the 7th celebration.

There were many developments after our maiden Rasagola Dibasa celebration online. (Many people didn't even know about Niladri Bije till then.) 
It was encouraging to see the action following earnest request for Geographical Indication (GI) application for Odisha Rasagola.
For some intellectuals, GI tag did/does not matter and some find/found it - "amusing to see netizens being vocal about GI tag just because of some sort of ill-reasoned vanity & self admiration." 

It was wonderful that our advocacy for Odisha Rasagola GI Tag was rewarded.

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Odisha Art And Sweet- Pattachitra And Rasgulla #RasagolaA2Z

Pattachitra is a traditional fine-art of Odisha

Like Rasagola, Pattachitra too is linked with Shree Jagannatha Temple, Puri, Odisha, India. 
The word Pata comes from the Sanskrit word "Patta" meaning “a piece of cloth” and "Chitra" meaning "painting". 

Niladri Bije is celebrated as Rasgulla Day i.e. #RasagolaDibasa.

As per the centuries-old continuing tradition of Puri Temple, Lord Jagannath offers Rasagolas (Rasgullas) to appease His wife, Devi Laxmi. Also, each year, on this last day of Rath Yatra, the devotees offer Rasagolas to the deities.

Friday, 16 April 2021

Name Rasgulla, Niladri Bije, And New Year Wishes #RasagolaA2Z

Name - Rasgulla , Rasagola, Rasgolla, Rasogolla, Rosogolla, Roshogulla...

The definition of Name as per the Merriam Webster Dictionary-

Definition of name-

1aa word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person or thing
ba word or symbol used in logic to designate an entity
2a descriptive often disparaging epithet
ban illustrious record FAME
ca person or thing with a reputation
5appearance as opposed to reality
6one referred to by a name

Whenever the name Rasagola / Rasgulla  or any of its myriad spellings/pronunciation comes up, most people instantly think of one eastern state of India and its capital city.

Have you ever wondered how and why is it so? 

That is the top-of-mind recall. People are not aware about the true place of origin- Rasagola is the Sweet Treat of Odisha. 

The misinformation cycle continues.

Very few know the reality about Rasagola name and origin. The word 'Rasagola' exists in 15th Century Odia Ramayana (when Calcutta city where Rasgulla is believed to have been "invented in 1868" did not even exist.) 

Name Rasagola was coined in Odisha that has many desserts, dishes and other words starting with Rasa like Rasakora, Rasabara, Rasabali, Rasakhai, Rasaphena, Rasmalai, Rasagola and many more.

Rasagola still plays an important role in Rath Yatra celebration. Thus, it is a Sweet Yatra.

Rasagola is as old as the Rath Yatra.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Maha Bishuba Sankranti or Pana Sankranti And Rasagola #RasagolaA2Z

April 14th is the Maha Bishuba Sankranti.

It is celebrated as the Odia New Year. It is also called- Pana Sankranti.

Art by- Shri Rabindra Kumar Maharana

Many regions of India celebrate their New Year around this time. More information in the previous post-
List of Lunar And Solar Indian New Year Days.

In Odisha and in Odia households, a special drink called Pana is prepared and available on Pana Sankranti. 

Pana offered in glasses & containers; PC- Shared on WhatsApp

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

List of Lunar And Solar Indian New Year Days #RasagolaA2Z

Our country is celebrating the Hindu new year festivals now. In our vast country, famous for its diversity, many days are celebrated as the New Year Days in different parts. The observance is based on the calendar followed by the region- whether lunar or solar calendar.

For the regions that follow the Solar calendar, the new year falls in the month of Vaishakha or April in calendar:

- Baisakhi in North and Central India, 

- Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu in Assam, 

- Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, 

- Vishu in Kerala, 

- Pana Sankranti in Odisha (celebrated in Chaitra month)

- Poila Boishakh in Bengal 

For the regions that follow Lunar calendar, the new year is celebrated on the first day in the month of Chaitra (corresponding to March-April):

Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka 

Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra. 

In many parts of India, New Year Celebrations begin in the spring.

Please refer to this webpage for the full list of lunar and solar Indian New Year Days along with the usual dates for celebration.

Today, April 14th is the Odia Nababarsa i.e. the Odia New Year, also called Mahabishuba Sankranti or Pana Sankranti.

A delicious refreshing drink called Pana is prepared. 


Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Khirmohan And Rasagola #RasagolaA2Z


Though we had started the Rasgulla Day celebration on social media to #EndRasgullaDebate, yet even today, misinformation regarding Chhena and Rasgulla "invention" continues.
This is just one of the YouTube videos on the topic. 
Many erroneously believe- Rosogolla/Rasgulla belongs to Bengal; Khiramohana belongs to Odisha! 
They are yet to know that- Rasagola and NOT Khirmohan/Khiramohana is the bhog/prasad on Niladri Bije of Rath Yatra.
Bhitarachha Mohapatra is the sebaka of the Shree Jagannatha Temple, who prepares Rasagola for the said ritual. Two years ago, when this writer asked him about Khiramohana, he expressed his ignorance and said that he hadn't even heard of the word!

Owing to the incorrect information available online, there are many myths about Khirmohan and Rasgulla. Here are a few-

Myth 1. 'Khiramohana' "WAS" offered to Shree Jagannatha in the Puri Temple.

Truth- Nothing called 'Khiramohana' was or ever has been a part of the dishes served in the Puri Temple. 

Myth 2. Khiramohana was the original name of Rasagola offered in the Puri Temple. 

Truth- As per centuries-old continuing tradition, servitors have been offering original 'Rasagola' (and NOT Khiramohana) in the Puri Temple. 

Myth 3. The word 'Rasagola' was first coined and used in Bengal; Odisha copied it from Bengal.

Truth- The word 'Rasagola' finds mention in centuries-old texts like the Odia Ramayana dating to the 15th Century when Bengal's capital city didn't even exist! Rasagola's link with Odisha is as ancient as the Rath Yatra of Puri, Odisha.

Myth 4. Name 'Rasagola' started to be used instead of 'Khiramohana' in the Puri Temple. 

Truth- Name 'Khiramohana' was never used in the Puri Temple. Niladri Bije is a continuing tradition from centuries. Each year on the last day of the Rath Yatra, Rasagolas are offered to pacify Goddess Lakshmi and to the deities. 

Myth 5. Khiramohana is brown. Brown coloured sweet is offered in the Puri Temple.

Truth- The Rasagola offered on Niladri Bije, the last day of the Ratha Jatra, is white.

PC: @manojmishratwit- Twitter

Monday, 12 April 2021

Lord Jagannatha's Favourite Sweet And Food #RasagolaA2Z

Puri Dhaam or Jagannatha Dhaam is one of the Chaar Dhaam- four holiest places of visit for Hindus.
Lord Jagannatha is the Lord of the Universe.
Puri is called the Bhoga Kshetra as this is the place where the Lord eats.

That explains the vast variety of dishes and foods offered to Shree Jagannatha at the Puri Temple.
The Shree Jagannatha Temple at Puri has one of the largest kitchens in the world and serves thousands of devotees. 
This 12th Century Temple is also called Shreemandira. 'Shree' means Goddess Lakshmi. It is believed that Devi Lakshmi cooks the food. 

People think that "Chhappan Bhog" (56 dishes/offerings) are available and served; however, the number of dishes is much more in number than 56. 

Earlier, I always thought that Rasagola (Rasgulla) is Shree Jagannatha's favourite sweet.

Like Rasagola, many sweets and dishes of Odisha like Chhenapoda are made using cottage-cheese i.e. Chhena.
In 2016, while researching to write a blog about 'Chhenapoda - Uncommon Food', I came across some reports that stated that Chhenapoda is Lord Jagannatha's favourite sweet.
(From L to R)- Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra & Lord Jagannath

Indigenous Knowledge, IPR, Rasgulla And Indian Sweets #RasagolaA2Z


That was the purpose of our celebration - to end the Rasgulla debate and controversy and settle it in the favour of truth and research i.e. in Odisha's favour.
However, even today, there is much misinformation regarding Chhena and Rasgulla "invention" both on internet and offline.
Rasgulla is just thought to be synonymous with another state and its capital city, and not Odisha. Searches on internet reveal the ignorance. Odisha is still not being given any credit for Rasgulla despite being this dessert's birthplace.
Source: Twitter

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Historical Evidence of Rasgulla And Research #RasagolaA2Z

Historical references and evidences are much needed while filing the Geographical Indication (GI) Application.

Following our Rasagola Dibasa i.e. Rasgulla Day celebration online on July 30, 2015, the topic Rasgulla trended.

There were many debates and discussions and intellectuals and researchers shared the available information.

However, it included misleading and false information regarding Chhena and Rasgulla invention too.

The neighbouring state filed for the GI of their Rasogolla in September 2015.

Odisha Government set up three committees and was in the process of "collecting evidence".

This report has more.

Based on the interim report of the three panels set up by the state government to prepare evidence about Rasagola:

"The committees, in their report, have stated that there is conclusive evidence on the use of Rasagolla in Odisha for a long time. This sweet dish was prepared by several mutts and temples in the state about 600 years ago," Odisha's Science and Technology Minister, Pradip Kumar Panigrahi said.

Panigrahi said there were evidences supporting Odisha's claim over Rasagolla in epics like Mahabharata, the one written by Sarala Das, 'Dandi Ramayan' and also in Madala Panji, the ancient text used by the 12th century Sri Jagannath Temple.

Odisha claims evidence of Rasagola availability 600 years ago

GI Tags of Odisha And Odisha Rasagola #RasagolaA2Z

Geographical Indication (GI) is a type of Intellectual Property Right (IPR).

Some unique and reputed products of different geographical areas of India have earned the GI Tag.  GI is a distinctive certificate used to identify a product as originating from a particular region or locality that has specific qualities, reputation or other unique characteristics. GI products are linked with the culture, traditions, history etc. of a geographical location. 

As on date, Odisha has 17 GI products.

List of the Geographical Indication (GIs) Of Odisha-

  1. Kotpad Handloom Fabric - Handicraft
  2. Orissa Ikat - Handicraft
  3. Konark Stone Carving - Handicraft
  4. Orissa Pattachitra - Handicraft
  5. Pipli Applique Work - Handicraft
  6. Khandua Saree and Fabrics - Handicraft
  7. Gopalpur Tussar Fabrics - Handicraft
  8. Ganjam Kewda Rooh - Manufactured
  9. Ganjam Kewda Flower - Agricultural
  10. Dhalapathar Parda & Fabrics - Handicraft
  11. Sambalpuri Bandha Saree & Fabrics - Handicraft
  12. Bomkai Saree & Fabrics - Handicraft
  13. Habaspuri Saree & Fabrics - Handicraft
  14. Berhampur Patta (Phoda Kumbha) Saree & Joda - Handicraft
  15. Araku Valley Arabica Coffee - Agricultural
  16. Kandhamal Haladi - Agricultural
  17. Odisha Rasagola - Food Stuff

The above is the correct list of Geographical Indications of Odisha.
Different lists with some omissions and additions can be seen while referring to the "GIs of Odisha" lists shared in multiple online articles and news reports.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Facts, Fake News, and False Information About Rasgulla #RasagolaA2Z

Many people are not aware about Rasgulla's centuries-old continuing cultural and historical association with Odisha and Puri Rath Yatra. 

Many think Odisha 'lost' and Bengal 'won' the Rasgulla battle/war.

Blatant lies and biased reports regarding Rasgulla/Rasagola still continue freely, unchecked and unabashed.

Myths about cottage-cheese, chhena and Rasagola are regularly shared.

Odisha Rasagola At Exhibitions and Events #RasagolaA2Z

Rasgulla or Rasagola is offered on the last day of the Ratha Jatra.

Many people do not know about this ancient continuing tradition - that has been continuing every year, for the past several centuries. This establishes Rasgulla's link with Odisha.

Many are yet to know that Odisha has earned the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag for Odisha Rasagola. Earning the tag has given a chance to the Registered Proprietors and Authorised Users to be represented in GI Exhibitions.

In the past GI exhibitions in which this writer was a part, Odisha Rasagola could not earn a place as it had not earned the GI tag then.

The public can be introduced to Rasagola if they get to see and taste and experience Rasagola at one place.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Rasgulla Day - Rasagola Dibasa Celebration #RasagolaA2Z

Day is called Dibasa in Odia. 

Rasagola Dibasa or Rasgulla Day means a day to celebrate Rasagola.

Did you know about Rasgulla Day?

The first celebration of a day for Rasgulla was done in Odisha, India.

No matter by what spelling it is referred to- Rasgulla Divas, Rasagola Diwas etc, the fact remains that Odisha not only invented the sweet, but it also has been celebrating a day for Rasgulla.

No one really knows how old is the celebration of "Niladri Bije", the last day of the Ratha Jatra, when Rasagola is traditionally offered to Maa Lakshmi and Shree Jagannatha at the Shree Jagannatha Temple, Puri. If you ask an average Odia about "Rasagola Day", they will tell you about Niladri Bije.

It is said- "Ratha Jatra jebethu, Rasagola sebethu." - Rasagola is as old as the Ratha Jatra.

Niladri Bije is celebrated each year on-ground and as a continuing tradition from many centuries in the Shree Jagannatha Temple, Puri, and in many other religious places like mathas and temples.

There was a need to propose and initiate celebration of Rasagola Dibasa on social media & online & also to join in the offline Niladri Bije celebrations to change wrong perceptions-

Myth 1. Rasgulla was invented in Bengal. 

Reality- Odisha is the birthplace of Rasgulla

Myth 2. All Chhena sweets are associated only with Bengal. 

Reality - Odisha has been the pioneer of Chhena sweets and other sweets.

Myth 3. Portuguese taught Indians how to prepare Cottage-Cheese i.e. Chhena. 

Reality of Cottage-Cheese or Chhena

Cottage-Cheese, Chhena, And Comments About Rasgulla #RasagolaA2Z

Cottage-cheese or Chhena, a milk product, is the main ingredient required to produce the 'King of Sweets"- Rasagola or Rasgulla.

Milk is split or curdled to create Chhena.
Odisha earned the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Odisha Rasagola on 29 July, 2019.

However, a false narrative has been set. The following myths are still being propagated-

Myth 1. Curdled milk or Chhena is "impure" and hence "taboo" and cannot be offered to God.
Myth 2. Chhena is not offered in any temple as there are restrictions.

Friday, 2 April 2021

Blatant Lies And Biased Reports About Rasgulla Invention #RasagolaA2Z

Blatant lies have been and are still being peddled about Rasgulla and "Bengali invention".

Do you know the history of this "king of sweets"?

Your version of the story will depend on your source of information.

Check out this video for the special "Rasgulla History" report by Zee News

Here is another report by Zee News about Rasgulla's Birthplace.

Money power and propaganda can succeed in creating such fake stories.

These reports claim that Bengal is the birthplace of Rasgulla! They are also claiming Rasmalai dish was invented in Bengal!

Though both these reports are of March 2021, they don't even mention that Odisha has earned the Odisha Rasagola GI in 2019. Zee News has made it look that only Bengal is synonymous with Rasgulla!

What you know has been fed by either media or people you know, who in turn are fed by media and people they know! 

This is a bad case of 'Chinese Whispers'. One media house publishes a false or misleading report with vested interests, and others may reuse the same biased report & continue the trend.

Also, of money and muscle power. Truth is suppressed by the so-called "superior intellectual and cultural prowess". Superior people must not steal others credit and identity. 

This is a glaring case of cultural appropriation.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

A To Z of Rasagola - April 1 #UtkalDivas #RasagolaA2Z

When you hear the word- Rasagola or Rasgulla, what comes to your mind?

Most people in India would recognize this "King of Sweets".

However, those who have not heard about it or tasted it, may not realize what they have been missing. 

"The proof of the Rasagola is in the eating."

Today is April 1st- celebrated as- Utkal Divas / Utkala Dibasa i.e. Odisha Day.

In Odisha, we have multiple reasons to celebrate many festivities and every occasion with Rasagola - be it birthday, anniversary, grihapravesh, thread-ceremony...even death ceremony.

Just eat and celebrate sweetness with Rasagola, and all is well.

All is well till someone (read an Odia) tries to bring out the truth about Rasagola - that Odisha is the birthplace of Rasagola! That's when all either oppose or say that this is inconsequential! 

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