Meet Azam, the mango

An almost extinct variety of mango that was saved by a professor is now bearing fruits

June 23, 2011 09:14 pm | Updated 09:14 pm IST

A Farmer of Moinabad with Rare Variety of Mango Azam-us Samar. Photo: Special Arrangement

A Farmer of Moinabad with Rare Variety of Mango Azam-us Samar. Photo: Special Arrangement

Just when mango carts are making way for bananas, some households are rejoicing at mango flowers and the ripe fruits hanging out from various branches in their garden.

We know the Himayat Pasand to be the sweetest, but there is yet another variety that stands out for its sweetness, fragrance and the ‘juicy factor' - Azam-us-samar.

This variety of mango which originated in the gardens of Nawab Azam Ali Khan was almost extinct until Mir Mustafa Husain, a professor teaching at the Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University decided to invest his time and not let the mango variety disappear.

“Mustafa Husain grafted the mango in various farms in Shamshabad and Moinabad. He came to our garden and did the grafting. When it comes to size and weight, most of the `Azam-us-Samar' mangoes are two or three times larger and heavier,” explains Md. Sayeeduddin a farmer from in Moinabad. The peel of the mango is very thin, he adds.

The fable behind the mango goes thus: The variety is said to have been developed by Nawab Azam Ali Khan and that is how the mango got its name. Developed by the nawab on his sprawling gardens at Shadnagar, this variety made to the Buckingham Palace along with other different mango varieties that were regularly sent to the Queen at that time. The legend goes that Queen Victoria tasted them all and chose ‘Azam-us-Samar' as the best. It is said that the mango used to be sent to the Queen until the death of Nawab Azam Ali Khan, after which the mango variety began disappearing.

“But Mustafa Husain has tasted the rare variety and the taste lingered on his mind. He spent 36 years researching the variety until he could find it. To ensure that it doesn't get wiped out, he came and grafted it in a few farms in the city. That is how I have it,” says Md. Sayeeduddin.

Sayeedudin has a couple of trees which bearthis variety and the sizes vary from a medium sized papaya to a large one. These mangoes are at least two or three times larger and heavier than other varieties, weighinganywhere between 300 gms to 2.25 kgs.

There are around 200 trees of this variety in Shankarpally, Shadnager, Moinabad and Ibrahimpatnam. “If we cut the fruit and keep it in one room, I can assure you the entire house will have a sweet lingering smell,” says Sayeeduddin.

However, Sayeeduddin doesn't sell the mangoes from his trees. The reason being, “the grafted trees bear very less fruit. So we usually don't sell it. The original trees from a farm Shamshabad bear a lot of fruits,” he adds.

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