BHOPAL: In Madhya Pradesh’s Alirajpur district, Mughal Empress Nur Jahan and her stepson Shah Jahan enjoy the company of Bollywood diva Sridevi. These mango varieties are the mainstays of sprawling orchards owned by the erstwhile royal family and their relatives in the forests of Kathiwada.
While historically Nur Jahan was famous for her peerless beauty, the mango variety named after her is famous for its weight and sweetness.
Every season (May and June) the seven trees planted in three orchards bear the Nur Jahan variety, whose weight varies between two and four kg and length between 12 and 15 inches.
“Like any other orchard owner, we also sell the fruits in advance. Each of the Nur Jahan mangoes — depending on their weight and length — fetches prices ranging between Rs 400 to Rs 600. The Shah Jahan variety too is heavy in weight, but unlike Nur Jahan they weigh up to one kg. The Sridevi variety too is in demand owing to its pinkish peel,” said Bharatraj Singh, the owner of one of the orchards.
Chausa, Langda, Dussehari, Hapus, Kesar, Neelam and Badam also find a place in these three orchards.
It was Bharatraj’s uncle who brought the saplings of the three varieties from Gujarat about 50 years ago and planted them in Kathiwada, which is known for its cool clime. They were subsequently renamed as Nur Jahan, Shah Jahan and Sridevi in the years to come.
“Saplings of all mango varieties were sourced by my father from Gujarat and an indigenous variety of South India was renamed as Nur Jahan. Since then, Nur Jahan has turned out to be the Raja of Mangoes. Five out of the seven trees in the three orchards annually bear around 500 Nur Jahan mangos which are sold to affluent buyers in advance. Our orchards have turned into major tourist draws, particularly for visitors from Gujarat, largely due to the size of Nur Jahan variety,” said Bharatraj’s cousin Shivraj Singh, who owns the adjoining mango orchard.
The dense forests of Kathiwada, which are close to Gujarat, are famous as the Kashmir and Cherapunji of tribal-dominated Bheelanchal region due to cool clime, and forests.
Nur Jahan mango: One of its kind
Each of the Nur Jahan mangoes — depending on their weight and length — fetches prices ranging between Rs 400 to Rs 600. This mango variety is known for its unusual weight and sweetness.