Malihabad (Uttar Pradesh), May 30 : A die-hard mango lover living in a small town of Malihabad in Uttar Pradesh has grown 300 varieties of mangoes on a single tree in his orchard.
Malihabad has a long tradition of producing delicious varieties of mangoes and one of the famous varieties is known by the name of the town.
Some of the rarest varieties of mangoes, which have become extinct, are still growing on a 'miracle mango tree'.
Kallimullah Khan, who hails from Malihabad wants to save these and many more varieties of mangoes for the posterity.
"These are extremely tasty mangoes. We cannot find these everywhere. I am trying my level best to grow different types of mangoes," said Khan.
The original tree is nearly 80 years old. Khan has grafted and grown new varieties of mangoes on it.
Relentlessly working in his nursery, Khan's passion for the fruit goes back to his childhood when he began experimenting with mango saplings.
Driven by zeal to preserve vanishing variety of mangoes, Khan started his conservation effort by grafting seven to eight varieties of mango stems.
The sight and smell of different varieties of King of fruits' on a single tree is attracting many visitors to the mango grove.
"This is the first time in my 70 years of life that I am seeing something of this sort. I have never seen anything like this," said Pandit Rameshwar Dayal, a visitor overwhelmed by the sight.
Malihabad is located in the mango belt in Uttar Pradesh where 90 per cent people are engaged in the profession of growing mangoes.
Mangoes from Malihabad are exported to various parts of the country and abroad. The cost of the most famous variety of mangoes 'Dussehri' reaches Rs 200 rupees per quintal in the season.
About 1,000 varieties of mangoes are grown in India, in an area of 2.5 million hectares.
Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are major mango-growing states in India.
India is the world's biggest producer of this tropical fruit contributing to 59 per cent of total production, but its share in the world mango market is less than 15 per cent.
It exports about 30,000 tonnes of mangoes every year to nearly 40 countries including Britain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Canada and now the Untied States. Mangoes account for around 39 per cent of the total fruit exports from India.