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As summer and mango go hand-in-hand, this year’s fruit festival was a tribute to varietals named after personalities, particularly Kejri and Sisodia
Delhi’s mango festival is no longer just about indulgence but about imaginative innovations in fruit culture. In this year’s edition, 13 farmers from across the country and nine government horticulture departments and agriculture institutes displayed over 500 unique varieties of traditional and hybrid mangoes.
Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who inaugurated the festival, said that the 30-year-old festival had now become a regular entry in the city’s cultural calendar and had become a great way to learn more about our native fruit. Perhaps in acknowledgment of the organisers, Delhi Tourism and the Delhi government, two varietals were named after the Chief Minister and his deputy — Kejri and Sisodia.
The event, which was organised at Dilli Haat, Janakpuri, between July 6 and 8, had an array of Langra, Chausa, Amrapali, Rataul, Hussainara, Ramkela, Kesar, Fazri, Mallika, Laxman Bhog, Raja, Sheela, Katreena, Himsagar, Jardalu, Sehri, Alphonso, Toffee Mango, Shimla Mirch and other assorted varieties.
This year the festival recorded over 30,000 visitors over three days from different parts of Delhi. Having shifted venues many times from Talkatora Stadium, Ashoka Hotel, Pragati Maidan to Dilli Haat, Pitampura, the three-day festival has become one of the major and the most awaited cultural events in the city. People made a beeline for processed mango items like pickles, jam, chutney, mango pulp, mango juice, jelly, aam papad and aam panna.
The three-day festival witnessed a number of recreational activities, competitions and cultural performances. Large crowds were drawn to the mango-eating competition for men and women where participants had to consume 3 kg of mangoes within 3 minutes. The winners were suitably awarded with cash prizes by Delhi Tourism. Sisodia said, “The enthusiasm of people for the exhibition as well as the competitions at the festival showcases their love for this fruit.” The festival also conducted special magic acts, stand-up comedy shows, mango quiz and mango slogan-writing competition for children while various band performances held the crowds spellbound.
The inaugural day of the festival saw in attendance various dignitaries like the Secretary, Tourism, Dr Dilraj Kaur, Managing Director and CEO of Delhi Tourism and Transportation Corporation Limited (DTTDC) Shurbir Singh, and Delhi Tourism’s General Manager C. Arvind.
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