Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 18:
While the state government had lost all hopes to provide documentary evidence to stake its claim that rasagola-the syrupy sweet’s origin was in Odisha much before its existence in neighbouring -West Bengal, research scholars have come up with evidence that the syrupy sweet has been mentioned in the ‘Dandee Ramayana’ composed by spiritual poet Balarama Das, the eldest of the Panchasakhas in the fifteenth century.
The new finding has raised hopes among the people of Odisha for the much coveted geographical indication (GI) tag for the syrupy sweet.
The lofty, huge immortal epic ‘Dandee Ramayana´ has mention of rasagola among other delicacies being served to Bharata, the younger brother of Lord Rama at the sage Bharadwaj’s ashram.
The ‘Dandee Ramayana’ edited by Pandit Gobinda Rath published by Nityananda Pustakalaya, Balubazaar in Cuttack clearly mentions the word rasagola in its page number 76.
The book’s pages 74, 75, 76 and 77 mentions of different delicacies served to Bharata at the Bharadwaj ashram. This clearly proves that rasagola existed in Odisha at least three hundred years before it came into existence in Bengal.
“When Lord Rama was sent into exile by his father Dasarath, Bharata, the younger brother of Lord Rama was at his maternal uncle’s place at that time. On his return on knowing that Rama has been sent into exile, Bharata went to the forests to get him back, en route he stayed at sage Bharadwaj’s ashram where he was served with a lot of delicacies. (Dandee Ramayana being an adaptation in Odia of the original Valmiki Ramayana, its composer-poet Balarama Das has mentioned delicacies including rasagola which was then prevalent in Odia homes to describe the feast offered by sage Bharadwaj to Bharata),” said Asit Mohanty, a research scholar on Jagannath cult and traditions.
“Though everyone is claiming that rasagola is of Odisha but none has presented facts to us on this account. I would request those who have facts in support of Odisha’s claim to rasagola should submit it to us at the earliest; the government will surely take appropriate steps in this regard,” said Pradip Panigrahy, Minister Science and Technology in his reactions on the latest evidence.