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Go mango picking this summer

RANJANI RAJENDRA
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In Focus What could be better than eating a juicy mango fresh off a tree? Nothing, we think. So ditch the carbide ripened ones and pick your own fruit

How often have you walked into a store, picked up some of those delicious looking mangoes only to be disappointed later by their somewhat insipid taste? Most of us face this situation with fruits that have been artificially ripened. But what if you could pick up farm fresh produce? Sounds too far-fetched? Not really; a lot of city folk seem to be doing just that - making a beeline for mango orchards along the Shankarpally Road.

The air is thick with the heady scent of juicy, ripe mangoes that hang invitingly from trees that abound in Mohammed Nayeem’s orchard. And as you bite into a plump sweet fruit, you can’t help but wonder, why the store-bought variety just doesn’t match up to this naturally ripened goodness. One of the several mango orchards dotting the Shankarpally Road, Nayeem’s Kwality Mangos offers fruit lovers a wide variety of the king of fruits. There is Dusheri, Mallika, Chinna Rasalu, Pedda Rasalu, Banginapalli, Himayat and even Alphonsos to choose from.

Although there are a few other similar stalls dotting that entire stretch of road, it is at Kwality, where with a little persuasion, you could get Nayeem to take you into the orchard to let you pick your own fruit. “There are a lot of customers who request to be given a tour of the orchard itself and even pick their own fruits (it adds to the whole experience). With regular customers, we don’t mind letting them do so. After all, it is a great experience for them,” says Nayeem, whose 15-acre orchard at Mokilla village boasts of having nearly 4,000 mango trees and yields nearly 10 tonne of fruit annually.

The orchard itself is a sight to behold. With rows and rows of heavily laden mango trees, it is a fruit lover’s delight. As you walk through the expanse you are bound to spot more than a few ripe mangoes fallen on the ground. With regular customers, Nayeem doesn’t really mind letting them have family picnics in the orchard, as long as the trees are not damaged.

“I’ve been frequenting this farm for the last four years after I stumbled upon it during a bike trip. Now we go to the orchard to choose our own fruit and also eat a few freshly picked ones. Usually the fruit pecked at by birds taste the best. It is a great experience and the fruit is much better than the artificially ripened ones available ones in the market,” says Durga Prasad V, an IT professional, who makes it a point to take his children along on these trips.

In fact, so popular is Nayeem’s orchard that weekends see a throng of visitors trooping in. “Sundays are especially extremely busy. We have all sorts of people coming here to make purchases,” he says. In fact, one can pick up a kilo of Alphonso mangoes for as less as Rs 40 and Himayat for Rs 80. It might just be worth a trip don’t you think?

RANJANI RAJENDRA

How to get there

l The farm is located at Mokilla village on Shankarpally Road.

l You could take the Mehdipatnam-Langar Houz route towards Gandipet.

l Alternatively you could take the Outer Ring Road from Gachibowli towards Gandipet.

l Drive past Ocean Park towards Icfai Business School (IBS).

l Once you cross IBS, drive straight ahead for three kilometres to reach Mokilla village. The farm with the Kwality Mangos stall lies on your right hand side.

l Distance: 40 kms approx.

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