The Sheherwali community of Murshidabad served up a humongous platter of mangoes, with a dollop of heritage, at ITC Sonar’s Mango Haat last weekend.
A Jain community from Rajasthan, the Sheherwalis settled in Murshidabad about 400 years ago and still preserve their unique cultural tradition, specially the production of unique varieties of mango.
The third edition of the annual mango festival at ITC Sonar was organised by the Murshidabad Heritage Development Society, who came with exotic varieties of mangoes like Kohitur, Bimli, Ranipasand, Shahdullah (commonly known as Himsagar) and some that have been bred since emperor Akbar’s reign.
“The Murshidabad Heritage Development Society is trying to preserve the food, language and the buildings of the town, and create awareness about Murshidabad. With the help of events like these, we can achieve that. Some of the best varieties of mangoes in the world are exhibited here today,” said Sandip Nowlakha, secretary, Murshidabad Heritage Development Society, dressed in the traditional Sheherwali style.
The women of the community demonstrated the art of cutting the delicate mangoes, which is unique to the Sheherwali community.
“This event is a celebration of the indigenous and diverse flavours of Murshidabad mangoes, for the people of Calcutta who have always appreciated the fine things in life,” said ITC Sonar general manager Atul Bhalla.