Liquor in India

Alcoholic beverages in the Indus Valley Civilization appeared in the Chalcolithic Era. These beverages were in use between 3000 BC and 2000 BC. Sura, a beverage brewed from rice meal, wheat, sugar cane, grapes, and other fruits, was popular among the Kshatriya warriors and the peasant population. Sura is considered to be a favorite drink of Indra.The Hindu Ayurvedic texts describe both the beneficent uses of alcoholic beverages and the consequences of intoxication and alcoholic diseases. Ayurvedic texts concluded that alcohol was a medicine if consumed in moderation, but a poison if consumed in excess. Most of the people in India and China, have continued, throughout, to ferment a portion of their crops and nourish themselves with the alcoholic product. In ancient India, alcohol was also used by the orthodox population. Early Vedic literature suggests the use of alcohol by priestly classes. The two great Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, mention the use of alcohol. In Ramayana, alcohol consumption is depicted in a good/bad dichotomy. The bad faction members consumed meat and alcohol while the good faction members were abstinent vegetarians. However, in Mahabharata, the characters are not portrayed in such a black-white contrast. Alcohol abstinence was promoted as a moral value in India by Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, and Adi Shankaracharya. Distillation was known in the ancient Indian subcontinent, evident from baked clay retorts and receivers found at Taxila and Charsadda in modern Pakistan, dating back to the early centuries of the Common Era. These "Gandhara stills" were only capable of producing very weak liquor, as there was no efficient means of collecting the vapors at low heat.