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It's an 'aam' affair in aam aadmi's Delhi

Posted on: 07:56 PM IST Jul 08, 2015 | Updated on: 7:57 pm,Jul 8,2015 IST

Imagine the best weekend. 

Now add 600 varieties of mangoes to it and does it not sound like the ultimate weekend for a mango lover? 

Every year, Delhiites look forward to the fascinating display of lip-smacking varieties of the fruit at the International Mango Festival and this year was no different.

The 27th edition of the three-day event was inaugurated by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in Janakpuri's Delhi Haat on July 3. 

The main exhibition was held at the 960-sqm exposition hall, where 13 farmers and nine government institutions showcased different varieties of mangoes.

The most popular mangoes this year were Langra, Chausa, Amrapali, Rataul, Hussainara, Ramkela, Kesar, Fazri and Mallika.

The aroma of the fruit and its various varieties left everyone captivated, with some hybrid varieties being as small as a grape or even as large as a papaya. Farmers displayed over 40 varieties of mangoes, which were then tested by scientists for their colour, aroma, taste and maturity to decide which one was the best.

Some farmers even bagged 5-6 prizes in different varieties of the fruit.

Even though the festival was a success, many farmers complained that early showers took a toll over the king of fruits, hampering its quality this year.

Dr RP Srivastava, Director of Lucknow's Mango Polyclinic, who has been working with International Mango Festival for 12 years, said that the crowd and the participation from the farmers have been much better this time.

"This festival is not only a great platform for farmers to interact with traders but is also a great opportunity for people to get introduced to various varieties that they are unaware of and aren't readily available in the city,” he said.

The main attraction of the festival was the mango eating competition, where participants were provided with 3 kgs of the fruit to finish in just three minutes.

Laveesh Sharma, one of the participants said, "I haven't had a mango in 11 years and I would say that this experience has been the best way to break my fast."

The festival was a treat for children with some stalls selling various processed goods like pickles, jam, chutney, mango pulp, mango juice, jelly, aam papad and aam panna, jams.

The most popular mangoes this year were Langra, Chausa, Amrapali, Rataul, Hussainara, Ramkela, Kesar, Fazri and Mallika, as people flocked from one stall to another to buy the fruit.

Abdul Samad from Lucknow, who has been participating in the festival for 17 years and had 43 varieties of mangoes on display this year, said that he never misses the Delhi festival as people here are more excited about events like these as compared to other cities.

The festival wasn't just about mangoes as the Delhi Tourism department had also organised quizzes, slogan writing competitions and cultural events where students performed folk dances and kept the audience entertained.


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