Thandai, as innocent as it may sound, is basically a cooling drink made out of milk, pistachios, Fennel, almonds, poppy seeds (khus khus) and saffron.
Thandai is a drink served especially during festivals espcially Holi in March (the dates differ from year to year as they follow the lunar calendar) and Shivatri in February (the holiday of the god Shiva) to every Hindu in the North of the country—especially in Varanasi
Bhang, on the other hand, is a potent alternative to the Thandai. It is derived from Marijuana (Cannabis) leaves or flowers squashed and ground into a green paste
Bhang can be added to the Thandai or Lassi with some yogurt and sometimes ghee! But duh, who cares if you are having it with milk or yogurt!
WHERE TO GET BHANG in VARANASI
There are a few places you could go out with a 'bhang' or listen to yourself and start small! In most of the stalls, you could ask the mixologist to add mild, medium or strong!
I would go with strong if I was going to share it with someone, and mild if I was going to bottoms up that thick, rich, gooey mix!
Where: Green Lassi Assi Ghat, Assi, Varanasi
This small joint serves super potent lassis and thandai that are bound to leave you tripping left, right and centre. Price: 350RP
Where: Blue Lassi, Kuno Gali
Blue Lassi, another blue hole-in-the-wall with Korean signage and famous with the foreigner crowd! You can paste your passport photo on the wall so that the police could trace you after your wholesome drink! Price: 350RP
(kinda close to the Manikarnika Ghat which is the cremation ghat, i wouldn't want to stumble into this area especially in that state of mind) Just too INTENSE!
Where: Badal Thandai (walk up from Dashashwamedh Ghat keep walking till you come to the roundabout) You can spot the signage from a distance of this shoddy green hole in the wall! They serve bhang lassis and bhang ki thandai (milk or yogurt). Price: 350Rp
TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF WHEN YOU ARE ON THE BHANG
1. go with someone you TRUST 2. if you've never have edibles before better start MILD 3. it takes time to kick off and best to find a QUIET and CALM place to enjoy the ride! like in a restaurant, or quiet part of the ghat and try not to fall into the HOLY GANGA! 4. you'll get really thirsty, so bring WATER! 5. if you are alone, it is best you have the card of your hostel/hotel with you or your the ADRESS in your phone.the labyrinth of old houses is quite a maze even when sane! 6. beware of your BELONGINGS (leave the bulk in your room) 7. remember the kick doesn't come immediately, so don't down another glass before the 1st kick comes! Take it SLOW 8. The HIGH can last about 6-7 hours depending how much you had and how strong the mixture! Manage your time well! 9. Try your best not to pass out or SLEEP in public.... 10. ENJOY THE RIDE
Disclaimer: I do not condone the use of any drug (legal or illegal) but if you can't help it, always leave with dignity in check but go with the flow! This is just a make belief story!
The feeling of sinking into a hole in the bed and falling from a ledge and simply laughing unbridle is a state everyone needs to feel once in a while! Can I have another please!