Shopkeeper making paan in Varanasi, India.
Paan is is a stimulating and psychoactive preparation of betel leaf combined with areca nut and/or cured tobacco. Paan is chewed and finally spat out or swallowed. Paan has many variations. Slaked lime paste is commonly added to bind the leaves. Some South Asian preparations include katha paste or mukhwas to freshen the breath.
Paan is also used in Hindu puja and wedding festivals and to visit relatives. It has become a ritual, tradition and culture of Bangladeshi society. Adult women gather with pandanialong with friends and relatives in leisure time.
Varanasi / Banaras, is a city on the banks of the Ganges (Ganga) in Uttar Pradesh, 320 kilometres (200 mi) southeast of the state capital, Lucknow. It is the holiest of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism. Some Hindus believe that death at Varanasi brings salvation. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the oldest in India.Varanasi is also known as the favourite city of the Hindu deity Lord Shiva as it has been mentioned in the Rigveda that this city at older times was known as Kashi or "Shiv ki Nagri".
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