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Mango madness: Bhopal fetes king of fruit

Shahnawaz Akhtar | Bhopal 30 Jun 2011, Vol 2 Issue 25

'Noor Jahan' was here, as were 'Sachin Tendulkar' and 'Aishwarya Rai ' - and they were all lipsmackingly delicious! For two days, residents of the Madhya Pradesh capital had the opportunity to savour mangos of all shapes and sizes, tastes and flavours, not to mention names.

Held at the Bhopal Haat June 28-29, the All India Mango Festival saw a large turnout of people paying obeisance to the 'King of Fruits'.

Biggest of them all: Shivraj Singh Yadav showing the two Noor Jahan mangos weigh 3 and 3.5 kgms at Bhopal Haat where Mango Festival held between 28 and 29 June. (Photo: IANS)

Among the most popular was 'Noor Jahan', with one mango weighing a whopping 3.5 kg, making it India's largest.

"There are only five trees of Noor Jahan at our orchard in Alirajpur. We are producing this mango since last 40 years. Wherever we presented this mango, it has won an award in the biggest size category. This year, we presented a Noor Jahan mango to (Chief Minister) Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who promised to conserve it," said fruit cultivator Shivraj Singh Yadav.

If 'Noor Jahan' was hogging the limelight because of its size, Padmashree awardee Kaleemullah Khan from Lucknow also drew a lot of visitors to his stall. They all wanted to see the 300 varieties of mango which he claims are the produce of a single tree.

"This tree sums up my life. I share the same kind of relationship with this tree as I share with my family," the 70-year-old said.

More than 60 varieties of mangos were being displayed at 51 stalls at the festival. All the 50 districts of Madhya Pradesh set up stalls, while Uttar Pradesh had six stalls.

Another crowd puller was a stall selling 'wine' made from mango juices.

"I decided to use the mangoes that would fall and decay. So I extracted their juice and fermented it for three days. The end product was something that tasted like wine," said Pradeep Singh Rathore from Alirajpur. - IANS
 

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