Purple mango found in Thuravoor-Aroor area was named 'Dukhrana' by Fr. Kuriakose Elias Chavara
Kuttanad: Though green raw mango and yellow ripe mango are familiar to us, have anyone seen a purple mango? Such a mango tree can be seen at Thuravoor-Aroor area.
The mango has a connection with Fr. Kuriakose Elias Chavara, the canonised priest renowned as ‘Chavara Achan’. Once he was gifted with some mangoes by one of his visitors. As he liked its taste, he sent the seeds to the nearby convents for planting there.
Fr. Kuriakose Elias Chavara named the mango ‘Dukhrana’ meaning remembrance. The mango tree is situated near a church. It is learnt that the saplings of the tree might have reached Kainakari in Kuttanad and Mannanam area in Kottayam in the name of Fr. Kuriakose Elias Chavara.
Dukhrana mango is purple in colour and the colour remains even after it ripens. The fruit weighs around 300 grams. Raw fruit tastes sour and when ripe it is sweet. The flesh is rather thick. The trees have high productivity. Insects rarely attack the fruits.
The members of a social media collective named ‘Nadan Mavukal’ found the different type of mango tree. They have WhatsApp groups which function actively under the name Indigenous Mango Trees Conservation Project (IMCP) in all districts of Kerala.
The team works for collecting and conserving indigenous mango varieties and finding new varieties. The group members travel across the state at their expense in order to find rare mango varieties. They did not reveal the exact location of the purple mango tree as it may affect the efforts to conserve it.
Dr Jyothi Bhaskar, the head of fruit sciences department at Kerala Agricultural University, said that authentic information can be given only after a detailed study on mango trees. However, campaigning for unique varieties is useful in conserving them, Dr Jyothi added.