Famously known and loved by all, the summer season's quintessential mango is childhood nostalgia wrapped up in a sweet and refreshing flavour. While the 'King of Fruit' is a celebration in itself, the 'World Mango Day' falling on July 22, is nothing but a sign from the universe to get past the bustling streets of Lucknow to the nondescript lanes of Malihabad, to wing your mango rave!
Located approximately 28 km away from the din of the city, explore the magic mango trail of this small town as you dive deep into a world of aam varieties and wonders!
Malihabad - A mango lover's dream come true!
Malihabad stands at the largest mango belt among the 14 such regions located in Uttar Pradesh and rightly, exudes the aroma of this raw fruit across its boundaries. Stretched through about 30,000 hectares of cultivable land, one may find small baghs (plantations) and large commercial spaces, growing the fruit here. Be it the gooey goodness of Chausa or the pickle extraordinaire, Ramkela, the Malihabad belt has it all!
However, if one has to narrow down at the blockbuster hit variant here, it will be the regional favourite, Dussheri mangoes. As per the Geographical Indications Registry of India, the Malihabadi Dussheri was given a Geographical Indication (GI) status in the year 2010. This attributes the origin place of the mangoes as a star characteristic in its product profile.
Greet the Mango 'Garden of Eden'
As one moves into the narrow lanes of the town, they encounter roadside stalls or mango plantations on either side of the street, much like the proverbial darbaans, welcoming you into the mango-wonder-land. All groves here are grown here as a family legacy and are aged over a century or two! It is believed that the first mango tree was planted here by the leader of an Afghan Pathan tribe who had migrated to Malihabad from the Khyber Pass.
Since then, this place has evolved as the Mango 'Garden of Eden' with prominent as well as new varieties growing here. One can find the sweet relish of Langda, Safeda, Kachcha Meetha, Sangeela Benazir and Kalapahar, among others here. Those who wish to quench their thirst (or rather a taste) for new variants, can also seek salvation here with a plethora of new flavours, some of which are named after celebrities, health workers and even frontline officials!
One of the star attractions here is perhaps Kaleemullah Khan's Nursery here. Hailed to be the 'Mango Man', this Padma Shree award recipient has engineered a tree that can grow over 300 varieties of mangoes. Interestingly, each fruit has a different flavour and texture despite having the same roots.
A wonderland for a reason, Malihabad has been often dubbed as the 'Mango Capital of India' for its premium quality product. Its open green spaces, plentiful mango trees and rich culture, attract several horticulture enthusiasts from across the globe.
A centre of local cultivation, this place deserves to be on the travel bucket list of all mango-lovers, who wish to roll up their sleeves and surrender their dignity to the luscious and juicy fruit!