Relish tempting thirst busters at the Lalbagh fruit fair

Relish tempting thirst busters at the Lalbagh fruit fair

Exotic varieties of grapes, yellow watermelons, rare fruits at mela

Relish tempting thirst busters at the Lalbagh fruit fair

The summer is just making its presence felt, but Bengalu­reans already have a not-to-be-missed opportunity to fill their fruit baskets.

On Wednesday, the inaugural of the Grape and Watermelon Mela-2016, Lalbagh (the venue) seemed to ooze with varieties of the juicy wonders for visitors to relish. Yellow Flesh Watermelon, Shiraz, Australian Red Globe and Flame Seedless grapes were all there, the cynosure of all eyes and the teaser of all tongues.

The crowd was thin on Day One of the fair - set to conclude on March 28 - but no visitor missed the opportunity to taste and buy the Yellow Flesh Watermelon from Andhra Pradesh.  Hopcoms Managing Director B Krishna told mediapersons on the sidelines of the inauguration that there would also be an exhibition of rare fruits. The mela will continue till March-end at the 275 Hopcoms stalls in the State where fruits will be sold at 10 per cent discount. The rates at the stalls will remain stable for 10 days, after which they will vary as per the market prices.

Twelve varieties of grapes are on display at the fair – Australian Red Globe, Indian Red (Black) Globe, Krishna Sharad, Sharad, Flame (seedless), Crimson, Sonaka, Tas-e-Ganesh, Thomson (seedless), Manik Chaman, Manjri Naveen, Grenache Blanc, Bianca, Medika, Shiraz and Bangalore Blue.

Three varieties of watermelon on display and sale are Namadhari, Kiran and Yellow Flesh. Rare fruits on display and sale are Mangosteen, Rambutan, Dragon Fruit, Blueberry, Raspberry, Mini Orange, Fig, Litchi, Sweet Tamarind, Kamarakh, Passion Fruit, Jamun, Wood Apple, Barbaden Cherry, Phalsa, Butterfruit, Nanjangud Rasabale, Nendrabale, Chandrabale, Sweet Banana, Jambo Grapes, Ramphala, Mullu Ramphala, Pomellow and Citron. Most varieties of grapes exhibited were not on sale, except Black Globe and Sharad. Same was the case with rare fruits. Also, the ones on sale were expensive, said visitors.

At the inaugural, Shamanur Shivashankarappa, Horticulture Minister said that the Mela was being held to help farmers. He said Hopcoms was running under loss because rates of items were not standardised and there were many complaints which needed to be addressed. Ramalinga Reddy, Transport Minister, said that the proposal to reduce stall rentals at bus stands by 10 per cent was before the department for consideration. He promised to discuss the matter with the officials.