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Kedarnath Aggarwal, the man who gave Delhi a taste of Bikaner sweets, dies at 86 | India News


A little after Independence, two brothers from Rajasthan’s Bikaner made their way to Delhi, selling bhujia and rasgullas out of buckets in the hope of winning over the people of another, bigger city with their family recipes. Soon, they established a stall in Chandni Chowk, which eventually grew into a behemoth of sweets and namkeen: Bikanervala. One half of the sibling duo, Lala Kedarnath Aggarwal, died Monday. He was 86.

His death “marked the end of an era that has enriched palates and touched countless lives,” shared Bikanervala in a statement.

The brand Bikanervala has seen several phases, starting from Bikaner Namkeen Bhandar established by Aggarwal’s father in 1905 in the Rajasthan town.

As the country attained Independence, senior Aggarwal’s sons, Kedarnath and Satyanarayan, decided to take the family recipes to Old Delhi with the desire to expand their business out of the desert state. Following a laborious, almost-cinematic journey of finding their feet in the country’s capital, the brothers established a stall in Chandni Chowk’s Parathewali Gali, giving it the name: Bikaner Bhujia Bhandar.

By 1968, when Aggarwal’s son, and the Bikanervala group’s current managing director, Shyam, joined the business, the sweet shop’s footprint had expanded to other parts of Delhi, including Karol Bagh.

Festive offer

This expansion was enabled by a new factory on Lawrence Road. In the 1980s, to counter western food products in India, the sweet shop expanded to other parts of the country. By this time, the business’s third name, a callback to its roots, had assumed recognition in Delhi: Bikanervala, literally meaning ‘from Bikaner.’

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The fourth and final name came with the next successor in the family, Manish, who oversaw the group’s international brand, Bikano, being launched in 1988. The group entered into a partnership with PepsiCo’s brand ‘Leher’ and opened a new manufacturing plant in Faridabad. Bikano Chat Cafés have been another venture, selling fast food along with regular sweets and namkeens. Over the last two years, the group has launched a hotel in Hyderabad, and opened a new plant there, as well as one in Greater Noida.

On his father’s death, Shyam Aggarwal shared in a statement, “[His] departure is not just a loss to Bikanervala; it’s a void in the culinary landscape. His vision and leadership will forever guide our culinary journey.”

In a statement, Radhey Mohan Aggarwal, Bikanervala group’s director and Aggarwal’s eldest son, noted: “As we bid farewell to a legend, we carry forward his legacy with a deep sense of responsibility. Bikanervala will continue to be a reflection of his values – a place where every dish tells a story and every customer is part of our extended family.”





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