I remember being 8 year old, standing on the front of my dad’s scooter, a Bajaj and wandering around Patna during my summer vacation. He would take me to this hidden alley near Patna station and buy me Chandrakala. Delicious pieces of sweetness filled with khoa and dipped in chashni for some time, would taste very yummy. People would eat 3-4 pieces in one go, until they learned about diabetes and started controlling their craving.
This was almost 25 years ago and this new market area near Patna Junction used to be filled with multiple shops selling only Chandrakala, Samosa and Kachori.
Today, the number of shops has gone down, Patna junction has become more crowded and dirtier, but these shops are still selling the same Chandrakala like they did in the past. Today, only three shops in total exist and you’ll find one hawker hanging around sometimes. New Market is one of the best places to eat in Patna. I remember eating a piece of samosa for 1 rs each. Today, one samosa or a piece of kachori comes for INR 7 each. Same is with Chandrakala and a place with two will cost you INR 14.
What makes Chandrakala iconic for Patna
Chandrakala is one of those sweets that you will not find anywhere in city. The sweet is unique to Patna and there are not many other cities in Bihar where the same is found. There are various styles sweets of similar fillings present in various cities and towns of Bihar. There are Gujhia, Kheerkadam, Rasbhari and a lot more.
What makes Chandrakala special is that it has a simple texture, nothing over the top, no extra dryfruits or any sort of wrapping and there is not the slightest hint of ghee. Its soft layer makes it really sweet which instantly dissolves in your mouth. No wonder people eat multiple pieces of them.
How to find these Chandrakala shops
When you are in Patna, you’ll probably be staying around the junction area which is also known as Fraser Road. The Shanti Stupa, one of the best places to visit in Patna is located at a walking distance. Here, the crowded, chaotic auto rikshaw stand will take you near New Market. Keep walking until you come near a bunch of small shops in an alley. These are the decades old Chandrakala shops still keeping the taste alive.
The chandrakalas are to die for. If you are hygiene conscious, then it is better that you avoid eating right there and pack some for home.
Tasting a plate of these sweets along with samosa will surely give you an experience of travelling in Patna unlike anything else in the world.