Pattanam Podi -Snuff

A passage in Fort bearing signs of s snuff brand
A passage in Fort bearing signs of a snuff brand

How can a blog about ‘Pattanam’ (Madras City) be complete without reference to ‘Pattanam Podi’ or snuff?

It was once very common to see men (and some women) snorting the tobacco snuff into their nostrils and sneezing: An agony for those nearby. The most salient brand was TAS Rathinam Pattanam podi. Tulsi Badrinath, in her book ‘Madras, Chennai and the Self’ dedicated a whole chapter to a family that was in the snuff business and still manages to survive.

The above image from Fort St.George indicates that the Snuff {Pattana Podi} is very much part of the city’s history.

11 days more for Madras Day

PS: Retailers used to dispense the snuff from specially designed porcelain jaadis with a special spatula.


6 thoughts on “Pattanam Podi -Snuff

  1. Sadly, they shut down many years ago. The only Madras snuff now available outside is SVS brand. It is not as fine or punchy as the old TAS podi was. Very hard to find in Bombay, even in Matunga only a few shops carry it.

    Liked by 1 person

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