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How India’s ‘Mango Man’ Grew a Tree With 300 Flavors

Kalimullah Khan grew up on his family's mango farm in Malihabad, in northern India. When he was 15, a rose bush inspired him to learn the art of grafting, and of course that would involve mango trees. His first grafted tree was destroyed by floods, but he never gave up. Now 80 years old, Khan is proud to show off his magnum opus.   

Over the years, Khan fine-tuned the art of cutting off a branch from one tree, slicing notched angles into it, and then attaching the orphaned cutting to a new, hybrid tree. In 1987, he started grafting cuttings of different varieties onto a 100-year-old mango tree. He collected samples from across the country to add, seeking out rare varieties. Khan says the tree now grows more than 300 types of mangoes. He calls it Al Muquaraar, or The Resolute.

The tree has become a tourist attraction, and Khan will let visitors sample the fruit. He also cultivates new varieties of mangos. Read his story at Atlas Obscura.


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