Mango is a tropical stone fruit produced by the Mangifera indica tree, which is said to have originated in the region between northern Myanmar, Bangladesh, and northeastern India. Since ancient times, Mango has been cultivated throughout South and Southeast Asia. Kohitur is a rare variety of Mango found only in the Murshidabad district in West Bengal. It is believed that the mango variety was created during the Nawab of Bengal Siraj-Ud-Daula in the 18th century.
History of breeding
The last Nawab Of Bengal Siraj Ud Daula was a learned man and provided patronage to fruit breeders. Under his patronage, many varieties of mango were produced in Bengal. The Kohitur mango was developed by a royal mango breeder Hakim Ada Mohammadi by cross-breeding Kolapahar mango and another breed of mango.
The mango was only grown and consumed by royal households and the wealthy merchant class of the Sheherwali Jains, therefore it was only tasted by a few commoners. The Sheherwali Jains had come from Marwar to Murshidabad in the 18th century, and as they established and assimilated into the culture of their new home, they became Kohitur patrons.
The exclusiveness of Kohitur Mango
Kohitur Mango is a unique type of mango and has only a few farmers in Murshidabad that produce this variety of mango. The uniqueness of this mango is also rare and the mango needs some kind of protection from the government. In a recent report, the Bengal government asked for a GI tag to the Kohitur Mango.
A single Kohitur mango can sell for as much as 1,500 Indian Rupees. Because of its delicate nature, rich flavors, and limited manufacturing, the Kohitur has been regarded as a rare delicacy since its origin, a feature that continues to influence its price.
This mango has an aura of existence among enthusiasts because of its limited availability in a few orchards. They are hand-picked, and jute bags are hung from trees to save the fruit from being crushed as it falls from the branches. It is transported in cotton and is thought to be so delicate that its flavor changes even during the travel from Murshidabad to Kolkata, effectively eliminating any further exports.
The government has been attempting to obtain a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the Kohitur in order to encourage cultivation and save the species from extinction.