Mango Fiesta

- July 19, 2023
| By : Patriot Bureau |

The just-concluded Mango Festival, which returned after a three-year Covid-enforced break, hosted over 600 varieties of mango and visitors from across the country

The focus of the festival was to attract youngsters who are distancing themselves from mangoes.

The 32nd Mango Festival, organised by Delhi Tourism, dished out over 600 varieties of the beloved aam (mango) from across the country, capturing the hearts of mango enthusiasts from all over the Capital despite intermittent rains.

The festival, which was held over three days between July 7 and 9 at Delhi Haat, Janakpuri, had returned after a three-year hiatus caused by the lockdown.

The focus of the festival was to attract youngsters who are distancing themselves from mangoes.

“Youngsters these days are moving away from mangoes. This festival is an initiative to bring them closer to mangoes and let them appreciate this Indian delight and its legacy. Besides, among the common visitors as well, each one seemed to be delighted about this festival’s revival,” said Atishi, the Minister of Education, PWD, Culture and Tourism, Delhi Government.

There was no dearth of enthusiasm among youngsters at the festival.

Oliish, 9, and Danish, 11, were accompanied by their father Sameer to the festival.

The 40-year-old Sameer said, “This is the third time I am coming to this festival. It is such a pleasure to see the glory, Indian soil holds. I bring my children to this festival as well so that they get to smell the aroma and appreciate the wonder Indian soil can produce.”

Namita, 37, who has been coming to the festival over the past 10 years said, “Aam se to bachpan ke kisse jude hai par Dilli me itne aam dekhne ko nahi milte, isliye iss festival me humesha aati hu (My childhood memories are associated with mangoes, but I don’t get to see these many mangoes in Delhi so I come to this festival always).”

From commoners to eminent personalities, this festival welcomed visitors from all walks of life. The German ambassador to India and Bhutan, Phillip Ackermann also visited the festival to savour Indian mangoes.

After tasting a few, he said, “My personal opinion is that Indian mangoes are the best in the world. I have tasted a few varieties of mangoes here and I would say I am totally smitten by mangoes; I love mangoes.”

While all mangoes showcased were unique in their own way, a few varieties became the centre of attraction for visitors.

Some notable mango varieties included the Ritaul, usually sold for rupees 400 a kilo, known for its unparalleled colour and taste; the Hathi ka Jhul, a large-sized mango resembling a papaya; the Tommy 8 King, renowned for its exceptional taste and sweetness; the Mallika, recommended for diabetes patients; the Nazuk Badan, beneficial for those with high blood pressure; the Rafoo Chakkar, aids digestion; the Swarn Rekha, suitable for individuals undergoing dialysis; the Pant Sinduri, developed for people with diabetes; the Charu, named after former Indian Prime Minister Choudhary Charan Singh’s granddaughter-in-law; the Aabe Hayat, with juicy pulp promoting digestion; and the Angoori, a rare small-sized mango.

Stallholders, including farmers, exhibitors, and sellers, too cherished their connection with the festival, sharing personal stories and memories. Some farmers like Mohammad Alif Khan had been participating in the festival for over 27 years, bringing fresh mangoes from their own orchards.

Twenty-year-old Uzair, who comes from a family of mango farmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Akbarpur, said his family has been participating in the event for the last 27 years. He described it as a “family festival filled with memories”. Uzair, who was accompanied by his uncle, recalled some of his cherished memories of the festival such as his father winning the mango-eating prize in 2017.

Anshuman, a seventh-grade boy accompanying his grandfather Ramveer Singh Chauhan, an exhibitor and farmer, said, “This festival makes me feel proud that I belong to a family of farmers.”

Farmers also voiced their concerns, highlighting the challenges they face, such as limited export opportunities for Indian mangoes and the need for government support.

Tariq Mustafa, a farmer showcasing over 110 varieties of mangoes, urged the government to facilitate mango exports and provide more assistance to farmers.

Chauhan, a farmer hailing from Uttar Pradesh, commended the government’s efforts in supporting farmers and encouraged a shift toward organic farming for healthier produce.

Visitors were treated to a delightful experience, with the festival offering not only a wide range of mango varieties but also food stalls, rides, game zones, and various competitions with exciting cash prizes.

Special performers from the “Haryana Bean Patli group” of Palwal, Haryana, offered a warm welcome to all attendees with their melodious tunes. Competitions included mango eating contests and a slogan writing competition centred around the theme of mangoes.

Cash prizes were arranged for the winners of these competitions. Visitors could also enjoy the performance by magician Jatindar Singh Babbar.

The festival had more than 600 varieties of mangoes put to display by farmers and research centres from all over the country.
The largest mangoes to the smallest mangoes, the sweetest mangoes to the sourest mangoes — almost all types of mangoes one could imagine were brought all the way from some of the best mango bagh (orchards) of the country to this festival.

The event also highlighted the specialities and health benefits of different mango varieties.