NEW DELHI: Mango lovers in Delhi can enjoy around 500 varieties of the king of fruits from across the country as a three-day festival kickstarted here today.
The 26th Mango Festival, organised by Delhi Tourism Corporation at Dilli Haat in Pitampura, has on the platter varieties like Gola, Langra, Rataul, Kesar, Sindoori, Amrapali, Nagin, Lambui, Mallika, Fazli, Deshi Gulab, Jafran, Sinduriya and Rasgulla.
On display will be different kinds of rare as well as commercially popular mangoes.
There are more than 1,365 varieties of mango all over the world and around 1,000 of them are available in India.
The festival, which is organised every summer, aims to provide a boost to the mango industry.
The event sees participation from mango growers of places like Lucknow, Saharanpur, Meerut and West Bengal.
The festival was inaugurated by Delhi Chief Secretary S K Shrivastav who hailed the Delhi Tourism Corporation for its efforts.
Speaking on the occasion, Shrivastav announced inauguration of the 3rd Dilli Haat in Janakpuri on the concluding day of the festival--July 13.
"This is the first time that I am visiting the festival and it is always good to see the mango growers happy. I would urge and write to the corporation to start such festivals in the other parts of the country as well," he said.
"The government has been doing good work and looking for the prosperity of the mango growers. We are also trying to organise a function at Dilli Haat in INA," he added.
The festival also includes fun activities like mango-eating competitions, mango quiz competition, magic show and cultural programmes organized by the Sahitya Kala Parishad.
The mango festival was first held in Saharanpur in 1988 in association with the Ministry of Tourism and it has been a tradition since then.
"I come here every year and buy different varieties of mango which are fresh and free of any kind of chemicals. Also, the price is lesser than the market. It's a great effort and festival," said Charu, a visitor at the festival.
Dinga, a mango variety from Lucknow, is available at Rs 250/5 kg here.
Sellers, however, expressed mixed views about the profit earned by them during the festival.
"We have to pay Rs 11,236 for a stall and the profit has not been good enough for the past few years," said Dayananad, a mango seller from Azadpur Mandi here.
However, Harvansh Lal, another seller from Meerut, said he earns good profit and comes to the festival every year.