Paanwala with a bell who made it to Guinness Book

Published: Apr 04, 2009, 09:40 IST | Shikha Shah

This Borivali paanwala dishes out 125 varieties of paan including Chocolate Pan, and a Chappan Bhog that takes 56 ingredients to make. He's made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest collection of bells, one of which he rings each time he makes a paan

Paanwala with a bell who made it to Guinness Book

This Borivali paanwala dishes out 125 varieties of paan including Chocolate Pan, and a Chappan Bhog that takes 56 ingredients to make. He's made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest collection of bells, one of which he rings each time he makes a paan

Vinod Kumar Tiwari, 37, is definitely not your average nukkad paanwala. The owner of Ghanta Wala Pan Mandir in Borivali believes the packaging is as crucial as content, and packs his paan in an attractive little box that carries his name, contact and tagline: The Real Taste of Life.

The owner of Ghanta Wala Pan Mandir rings a bell every time he makes a paan.

Tiwari, who is originally from Benaras, follows a strange ritual each time he makes a paan. He rings a brass bell that hangs inside his tiny shop when he begins making a paan, and again when he accepts the cash.

"My grandfather set up a shop in Pune in 1933. A pandit told him that Lord Shiva can shower you with more blessings than what's written in your destiny."

And so, Tiwari invokes Shiva's blessings before making a business transaction, and thanks the almighty when he receives payment. Tiwari's father who set up shop in Borivali in 1972, continued the tradition, which Tiwari is following.

Paanwala sets world record

He's made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for possessing the largest collection of bells. He owns 450 bells from 169 countries. Ashok Agarwal, a regular customer, brought him a bell from France, his first in the collection. Most of them are gifts from regulars, some even hung in his shop by customers who ask Lord Shiva for a mannat. 

What's on offer

The Chocolate Paan (Rs 25) contains chocolate syrup, kesar, gulkand (rose jam) and cashew, is dipped in khus syrup, almonds and raisins.

It's a tad sweet, but innovative enough to try. Tiwari dishes out more than 125 varieties of paan including the Maghai Meetha (small tender leaf with a filling of supari (arecanut), katha (catechu), chuna (lime), gulkand (rose jam), honey-flavoured elaichi (cardamom), cherries, tutti-fruities and tobacco.

It's always sold in pairs. The Rasmalai (Rs 40) comes with milk supari, kesar supari and khas supari, while Chappan Bhog (Rs 56) takes 56 different ingredients. Samosa Meetha (Rs 12) comes in the shape of a samosa and is available in mango, orange and pineapple flavours.

At: Ghanta Wala Pan Mandir, Chandavarkar Road, Borivali (W). Call: 28922032

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