Ever got the feeling of a roller coaster ride while being firmly rooted to the ground? Come Holi, and wait for the Desi cocktail— Bhang!
This wonder shot can leave you in fits of laughter even in the gloomiest of moments as you smother your peeps with ‘Abir’ and ‘Gulaal’. As we have all heard, a little ‘abir’ and colour on the body is enough to give the Kolkattan a good afternoon siesta post the fish and rice feast. Swap the abir high with the ultimate kick to the system as soon as the sensational flavours of Bhang run down your throat and seep into your system.
Often we’ve heard hilarious stories post Holi about the escapades and decisions made on Bhang and how the popping masala flavours seem so tasty that without you realising it, you’ve taken in enough to create memories on and write a book on ‘Holi for dummies’!
The ‘Bhang goli’ as we all know it is a preparation churned out of cannabis which may be ridiculous to take in, but to some, it is the most amazing high of all time. Holi and Bhang are as synonymous with each other as bread is to butter. In most places, you might find this concoction prepared and sold in compressed circular forms, but the authentic flavours are found in the raw preparation made by grinding the leaves of the cannabis plant. Craving some already?
Hold on! We’ve got you covered. If you’re wondering where to venture out for the ‘happy high’, Kolkata has innumerable outlets where one can savour this heady concoction and zoom all the way to Benaras right in the city of joy!
1. Shiv Ashram
Hatibagan, Kolkata is famous for Shiv Ashram that is a tiny run of the mill shop but they are bound to change your perception the moment you take the first sip of their Bhang Lassi or Bhang Thandai. The owner single handedly manages the shop and weaves a magic wand that escalates the taste of Bhang to a different level. At Rs. 40 a glass, Bhang here is the ultimate stop for a crazy afternoon of Holi drenched in colours, and lost in the kaleidoscope in your head after a few sips.
2. Ralli Singh
Right after a hearty Biryani meal in Aminia, head down to the shop adjacent to it in the heart of Golpark. Serving shakes and sherbets, Ralli’s is a paparazzi point on Holi where the Thandai glasses keep vanishing off the counters. A hot spot for most college goers; the young at heart flock here to let loose.
3. Ballygunge HP petrol pump
When in Kolkata, ‘Paan’ is the party in the mouth right after a fiesta. Yet, the Ballygunge joint, otherwise known for the Magai Paan transforms into a mini Holi party as the freshly brewed glasses of Bhang Thandai keeps the party going.
4. Bara Bazar
The shoppers paradise in Kolkata is literally heaven during Holi, soon after a quick session of painting people’s faces with ‘Abir’, a walk down to the Jain Temple is a sure winner. The shop right opposite the temple deals in the most delectable glasses of Bhaang Thandai that one has ever tasted. The pinch of pepper and other spices keeps the taste buds tingling and who said your senses would remain the same?
5. (Near)Jadavpur university
Now this may be controversial. A university? Bhang? Really? Well, technically it’s not inside the university. In and around the area, as soon as March creeps in, you’ll see a man with a basket and ice box that has hidden in it the best Kulfi ever. Sounds mundane? Not when Bhang is a vital ingredient in it. Enough to keep you buzzing through the festival. If you are lucky enough, a few shops here also sell the classic Bhang Goli.
6. Next to Bhikaram, City Centre 1
Not really what defines ‘Maatal’ but a posh group of people letting their woes go as the Bhang takes over is what one really awaits during Holi. The sight is one worth mentioning when the party starts as the shutters of the shop opens. The flavoursome thandai that can be made as per the customer’s liking has our thumbs up.
7. Bhoothnath at Nimtalla Ghat
What better than to head down with your ‘parar’ boy gang and soak in the sunset over a glass of chilled Bhang as you discuss which girl looked most ravishing in the white saree? This iconic spot for Bhang has been an all time favourite with Kolkattans and if you are out for a real scenic adventure incorporating a happy high, this is the place to be.
8. Dakbungalow roundabout
Got a sweet tooth? Bhang laddu is for you. Excited already? We ain’t kidding. Bhang Laddu is a beautiful recipe that has been around since time immemorial. If you want a total treat for your oesophagus, try this one as this will not disappoint your sweet tooth.
Heaving a sigh of relief? Don’t miss out on the ice cream parlours in and around the city that may add a touch of Bhang to the flavour of the month. Let this be an adventure as you get surprised the moment you walk into an ice cream parlour.