Rasagola: A Sweet Delight with a Divine Origin

Rasagola: A Sweet Delight with a Divine Origin

Rasagola (Odia: ରସଗୋଲା) is a popular dessert in Odisha, made of soft balls of chhena (cottage cheese) cooked in sugar syrup. It is also known as Rasgulla in other parts of India, but Odisha is the original home of this sweet delicacy.

Swagatika Nayak Making Rasagola in USA
Making Process of Rasagola

History and Legends

According to historians of Odisha, the Rasagola originated in Puri, as Khira Mohana, which later evolved into the Pahala Rasagola. It has been traditionally offered as bhog to goddess Lakshmi at Jagannath Temple, Puri on the day of Bahuda Jatra.

Rasagola Offered to Lord Jagannath and Maa Mahalaxmi on the Day of Nilaribije at Puri

The legend goes that Lord Jagannath, the presiding deity of the temple, goes on an annual nine-day sojourn to his birthplace (Gundicha temple) along with his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra. This ritual is known as Ratha Jatra. However, Goddess Lakshmi, his consort, gets upset with him for leaving her behind and locks the main gate of the temple (Jai Vijaya Dwar) to prevent him from re-entering.

Rasagola Prepared by Manjula Samal

On the last day of Ratha Yatra, known as Niladri Bije (return of the Lord), Lord Jagannath tries to appease Goddess Lakshmi by offering her Rasagolas. Finally, she relents and allows him to enter the temple. This day is also celebrated as Rasagola Dibasa to mark the birth of the mouthwatering dessert in the state.

Guda Rasagola and Chini Rasagola shared by Manas Muduli

Rasagola is not just a dessert for the Odia people, but a part of our culture, history, and faith. It is a sweet that connects us with our divine Lord Jagannath and his beloved Maa Maha Lakshmi. It is also a sweet that reflects their diversity, creativity, and hospitality.

Different Types of Rasagola Serving by Bikalananda Kar

Homemade Rasagola Shared by Manas Muduli

Delicious Rasagola Shared by Swagatika Nayak

Bikalananda Kar Rasagola in Odisha

Jaggery Rasagola Prepared by Swagatika Nayak on Rasagola Dibasa

N.B.: All these photographs are taken by Manas Muduli, Swagatika Nayak, and Manjula Samal. We've published those here with proper permission.

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