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Saturday, May 13, 2017

the tasty pulpy mango ~ the Yogi mango !!

**  பெரிய மாக்கனி, பலாக்கனி, பிறங்கிய வாழை; அரிய மாக் களி, கடுவன்கள்  அன்பு கொண்டு அளிப்பன ** :                                                                                                                கம்பனுடைய இராம காதை - அயோத்தியா  காண்டம்

As the mercury shoots up and as people start predicting that ‘this year summer is going to be more hot’ …. People start thinking of delicious mango season.  Every place have their own variety of mangoes – some to be eaten ripe, some green and raw and some pickled and devoured.  Mangoes have enriched the literature ~ So many stories, real as well as apocryphal, are associated with this sublime fruit. Like cricket among all sports, mango among all fruits has lent itself to the folklore of Indian and subcontinental literature.  Every place in India,  have their own variety of mangoes – some to be eaten ripe, some green and raw and some pickled and devoured.  Sure you can add more to this list ……..Alphonso, Totapuri, Aambaat, Banganapalli,  Neelam, Sindhoori, Malda, Pairi, Chandrakaran, Alphonso, Langra, Gulaab khaas, peddarasalu, Kesar, dashehari, movandhan, mallika …..   

Almost every state boasts of their great stock and variety. There are approximately 500-1000 cultivars of different mangoes in the country. This huge variety not only differs in its shape, size, and color but also in its rich taste.  Recently I had posted on Banganapalli mangoes getting GI Tag. 

The primordial divyadesam Thiruvarangam has its share in mangoes too:  mampazhachalai [literally the road of mango fruit] – on the banks of the holy river Cauvery, as we reach Srirangam lies Thathachariar gardens, where people make a beeline to buy the signature produce - the sweet and soft-as-butter Imam Pasand mango.  The mango is special, though it is no native of Tamil Nadu, probably the silt and water of the Cauvery river seem to have done it a world of good.  The origin of the prized variety’s Hindi/Urdu name is lost in the mists of time.  In the 70-acre farm  Thathachariar Gardens has 700 mango trees, of which around 300 are the Imam Pasand, followed by other varieties such as Banganapalli, Roumani, and Kallamani (Bangloura).

Variety is what adds interest - mango lovers  this summer will get to relish a new variety of the fruit - named after UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The new mango has been developed by Lucknow's famous mango grower Padamshri Haji Kalimullah. Kalimullaha, 74, who has previously named mangoes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, film stars and sport icons, developed the Yogi mango in his orchard in the Dussehri mango belt in Malihabad area.

The Yogi mango, he said, is grown naturally, and is a hybrid of the famous Dussehri variety.   However, it is reported that the mango is still not ripe and its taste to be yet tested.   Before some jump the bandwagon, Kalimullah, who has been growing mangoes since 1957, said he names new varieties after celebrities to make the legends immortal, and has named some after Sachin Tendulkar and Aiswarya Rai too. 

The orchard, spread over five acres, has about a century-old prized tree, on which he started working in 1987 to develop the craft of growing different varieties on it. It is Kalimullah's talent in grafting and cultivating varieties of mangoes that fetched him the Padma Shri title and also that of Udyan Pandit by UP government.  He is famous for growing 300 different varieties of mangoes on a single tree.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

13th May 2017.

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