Charas or Attar?

Charas or Hashish?, a piece on misconceptions about traditional cannabis resin, is updated regarding ‘attarchi’ and ‘attari’, names mostly used by old-timers in the Uttarakhand Himalaya and Nepal for chronic charas smokers (‘charsis’)

‘Attar’ is a popular name in these mountains for hash. Ultimately, like the metonym charas (‘bag’, ‘stash’) this word entered Indian languages from Persian, though it can describe any aromatic resin, essence, or oil, such as those used in Ayurveda. Again, the name indicates the centrality of Persianate culture to these cannabis traditions as we now know them and likely the role the Mughal-era charas trade played in shaping them, export from the mountains to the great plains cities such as Lucknow and Delhi booming in conjunction with the tobacco habit.

Shown are characteristic braided pieces from the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand.