If you thought the first mangoes in India come from the Konkan belt in Maharashtra, you could not be more wrong. They actually come from South India, Muthalamada in Kerala to be more specific. The harvest is ready to pick as early as February!
The entire town, closer to Palakkad, cultivates mangoes; some 4500 hectares of farm land grows mangoes and it exports Rs.200 crore-worth of varieties a year. This used an entire town growing paddy or rice but due to water shortage, most have shifted to the cash crop of mangoes.
The town grows many varities – priyor, neelam, chandrakaaran, moovandan and it also cultivates mangoes specifically for (a pest-resistant mango used for the first pickle in the south). For the North Indian market, it grows even the famed alphonso along with totapuri, malgova and banganapalli. You name it and they have that mango!
Traders come as early as August to have a look at the trees, look the yield of previous year and then place an order. They then come to the orchards from Feb onwards to ship it to wherever, some even staying on till April.
Interestingly, if one follows the traders, you can track the mango season. After Kerala in Feb and March, they go to Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra in April; May is in Vijayawada, Guntur and Warangal in Andhra Pradesh; June in Bihar and lastly July is in Uttar Pradesh when dusseri, langra and chausa will be ready.