Pahala – The Rasgulla district of Odisha

Categories Food, Travel

We used to have a house in Salepur, home of Bikalananda Kar rasgula, the most famous shop in Odisha. My paternal village is nearby too. The rasgulas are sweeter, the syrup thicker and they last longer due to high sugar content. My favourite ones, though, are white tiny ones from Govindpur, a place near my maternal village.

Between Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, there is a small place known as Pahala. Almost fifty sweet shops on each side of the road for nearly hundred meters – this place is the rasgula district of Odisa. You get a lot more than just rasgulas but let me focus on what you know already. We used to go early in the mornings to have hot rasgulas straight off the kadai.

rasgulla odisha india

Now, Pahala was not always so famous. Pahala was a highway stop. Not something that people respected. We got it from a village favourite. If you could not, you stopped and picked some at pahala before visiting a relative in Bhubaneswar. It was always the last choice. But things have changed.

rasgulla shop pahala bhubaneswar

In its defense, the rasgulas here are very light, melt in mouth but don’t last a day. Unlike the Bengali counterfeit which is spongy, the odia version has the goal of melting in your mouth. You get them in different sizes, starting from 2 rupee ones to 20 rupee ones. There was a time when I could binge eat ten at a time, now I am far too old.

odisha rasgulla

  • Gyana Jiant

    this is gyana ranjan from pahal …Pahal is the only one place for best rasagola..

  • KAM

    ” is this the only piece of heritage that you can show off to the world? Seriously there are better things to latch onto

    chaitanna mahaprabhu did come from GEOGRAPHICAL ORISSA but back then there was no orissa, are we forgetting this?

    and your dear lord ASHOKA the great wasn’t your hero too until he defeated your so called “kalinga empire”. he was a scavenger of kalinga and not a king

    your bali, sumatra etc “J(y)ATRAS” came form LORD ASHOKA’S INVASION of your pillage state.

    the regular oriya isn’t sweet at all, its rather very harsh, its rather the languages like sambalpuri and languages near the west bengal border where the oriya dialects turn sweeter. would you not agree?

    sambalpuri is such a cute language! why are you guys stomping it down to non-exitence and these guys want their language to prosper just like yours. give them their due!

    oh, btw, i forgot to mention YOUR BEST CM (infact my best CM too, one of the best CMs our country ever had) doesn’t even speak Oriya! ”

    MBA, IMT Ghaziabad
    Vertical Head,
    Mobile Internet Products & Data Services at Airtel

    • SPM

      Bangali Tangtagali…

      • KAM

        Remember that Bengali households still are known for their amazing food culture and this fact is known world-wide 🙂

        tanSEN was bengali my dear friend, so were a lot of other people! want to see the entire list as it stands today? so was subash chandra bose and sri aurobindo :)??

        and i can name a million others and i am proud to say our greateness can be exerted beyond our national borders.?we are the fifth largest speakers!

        here are two lists to shut your mouth??

        these guys are not just making India proud but half the world knows about these guys dude 🙂

        we bengalis have won pretty much every award in the world stage?you name it we have it and we are damn proud of what we have :)?its the only country in the world which took rebellion because it couldn’t speak its mother tongue and it won! and won so hard that the UN had to adopt that day as the international language day, which celebrates languages from all over the world.

        MBA, IMT Ghaziabad
        Vertical Head,
        Mobile Internet Products & Data Services at Airtel

        • Dude, are you real!!!

        • Ruchira Barik

          Kam Babu,

          The Odia and Bengali versions of Rasagolla are different and in Odisha itself, there are variations. Yes, there is a lot of debate going on about its origin. But its equally loved and popular in both states. Why do start hyperventilating whenever an Odia person writes an article on the Rasagolla, especially when they aren’t really trying to put the Bengali one down? That too you copy-paste the same ranting and come down to denigrating many things about Odias in multiple forums. So much for Bengali bhadralok and national integration!! I am not going to to start an argument but would expect more courtesy, skill and sophistication from a person holding an MBA degree and a designation which says “Vertical Head – Mobile Internet Products & Data Services at Airtel” and living in a metro. But alas ..! How insecure you sound! Trying to prove Odias are nothing and Bengalis are beyond excellence, using generalizations and providing links etc etc. Sad.

        • Bibhudutta Mishra

          Bhai Isiliye India piche he…..Oriya Bengali kya he…..Mu Jane swabhimani Oriya ….kuch nhi ho sakta tumhara….we should all love Rasgulla ……Origin matters to Historians not to us…..

        • Bibhudatta Jena

          See kam my dear quantity dosent speak for quality . Odia as a langauge existed well before bengali langauge , this is a fact as to why our langauge has classical langauge status and bengali dosent. Our langauge is atleast 2.5 k yrs old . When odia langauge was at it peak bengali langauge was even born . So chill my dear today u may be millons but tommorow u may be extint . So as the saying goes its just a ride so chill and try salepur rasagulla

    • Ruchira Barik

      This article is about the Pahala rasagolla. Not a showcase of “Odia heritage” deserving a write-up of everything about Odisha. Get some perspective. Aren’t you tired of all your bad-mouthing? Chill and have a rasagolla and smile and relax.

  • I love Pahala Rasagolas & also all the amazing varieties found in our Odisha- the birthplace of Rasagolas.
    The world needs to take notice & give credit.
    Let us celebrate the 1st #RasagolaDibasa this Nabakalebara Niladri Bije on 29th July 2015-

  • Rasgulla – Best dessert ever !!!