But when they go to buy the fruit in high-end shopping malls they find the price too steep. You can enjoy the misty backwaters of Alleppey and Kumarakom or go for tea estate safari in Munnar during the winters. Kozhikode airport and Kannur airport are the two other airports in Kerala providing convenient connectivity to other places. The fruit is assessed while it is still growing on the tree and the farmer is paid in advance. While the weather remains humid during this time of the year, cool breeze from south-west and refreshing showers replace the scorching Sun. In India, mangosteen, a tropical evergreen tree, is being grown only in the south. Marlin and Sibi visit mangosteen farmers. There are two factors that come in the way of creating a market for mangosteen in North India and other regions where it hasn’t made its presence felt. In fact, Marlin wanted to keep the entire mangosteen crop of one year just to raise plants. So he decided to try out mangosteen. He also brought some mangosteen seeds from Malaysia. And Kerala is accessible from all parts of the country and the world. This initial success prompted him to plant mangosteen in a big way. The average maximum temperature hovers around 35°C, and the minimum temperature is around 28°C. Trekking, hiking and biking are among the various exciting activities you can take part in, apart from enjoying the views. Kerala tourism season, thus, begins in October and ends towards March. But a big drawback is that there is absolutely no local demand. Almost the entire mangosteen crop of the village is pooled here. And then mangosteen began attracting attention. Southwest monsoon, from June to August, is the main rainy season. Regular buses, from standard seaters to luxury sleeper coaches, are also available from nearby towns to Kochi, Trivandrum, Munnar and other major tourist destinations of Kerala. Moothedan families were sentimental about the fruit since their renowned forefather had introduced it. While the high mountainous regions remain cool throughout the year, the plains and coastal areas experience hot and humid climates. Last year John earned Rs 1.75 lakh from mangosteen and Rs 1 lakh from nutmeg. Even if you get half of that for mangosteen, it is still a better crop for us,” says Marlin, “From a unit area, we get three times what we get from nutmeg.”. Mangosteen is a climacteric fruit. In Kerala the monsoon comes in two seasons: the southwest monsoon from June to August and the northeast monsoon from October to November. It is cold during the morning and evening hours, and the temperature may fall further during the nights. The reason is the rich alluvial soil here. For several years, Marlin would send his consignment of mangosteen to bigger cities like Thrissur and Ernakulam. In the hills, however, it is cool and pleasant. Kerala enjoys two monsoon seasons. The yield of mangosteen in the village has been increasing over the years. Action begins at the crack of dawn. And waterfalls cascade down at full force. Airports at Trivandrum and Cochin are among the busiest ones, and they connect Kerala to all the major airports in the country. At that stage mangosteen fetches a high price of Rs 400 per kg in Chennai. Its main fruiting time is over in just two months. The fruit crates are unloaded and some fruit is rejected. Enjoying backwater boat cruises, watching boat races and taking a tour of spice plantations are among the activities you can take during monsoon season. This means once the fruit is plucked, it undergoes rapid changes resulting in a short shelf life at ambient temperature. You can also book luxury trains like Maharaja’s Express and the Golden Chariot to enjoy the mesmerising views and explore the landmarks of Kerala. Since the tree is rare and its fruit tasty it was gifted to Moothedan girls when they got married. The average maximum temperature is 28°C, and the minimum is around 18°C. Kerala is a beautiful tropical state in the southern part of India. Some places to visit in summer are picturesque hill stations like Munnar, Thekkady and Ponmudi. The winter season also allows for a soothing visit to beaches in Kovalam and wildlife safari in Thekkady. In several Himalayan villages, owners of apple orchards are angry about the Union government’s decision ... At 68, Chhogalal Soni has the gruff ways of someone accustomed to taking on challenges. They reach everywhere except for the hilly areas, and they run from all major cities and towns of the country. During the peak season every day two tonnes — 200 boxes — are sent to Chennai from Pariyaram. Pariyaram village has witnessed many ups and downs in the past 50 years. “If it rains in Ernakulam, demand for mangosteen suddenly goes down,” says Marlin. And even with heavy rainfall, the days remain hot and humid. The south west monsoon or Edavappathy is characterised by torrential rains. So how did mangosteen, an unknown fruit in India, find fertile ground in Pariyaram? “If we sell directly to the consumer, mangosteen will become a very sustainable crop. Book tickets and accommodation in advance. Another farmer, A.D. George, has only five mangosteen trees in his compound. Farmers here worry about what future demand will be. The people of Kerala don’t know about this small money-spinner that is thriving in their midst. Humidity levels are low and so are the chances of rainfall. The price is lower during this time. Trains are the most convenient and comfortable way to reach Kerala. “Even Rs 100 is good for us,” says Marlin. The boxes are weighed and stacked. ... For 15 years Prashanth, a 37-year-old villager living near Thirthahally in Karnataka, slaved at a ... Four years ago, Dr N.S. In other words, just when the temperature rises in Chennai in summer and demand for fruit increases, our mangosteen fruit is  ready. We at Kerala Tourism, a division of Holidays DNA offer various packages that you can choose from depending on your budget, duration and interests. It didn’t strike them that they had been blessed with a cash cow. In the mid-Nineties nutmeg began winning the hearts of farmers. Tourists don’t stop here. At that time, just six people had college degrees. Most of the crop is harvested before the onset of the monsoon.”. This year, it varied from Rs 600  to Rs 1,200 per kg. In summer, hundreds of makeshift stalls appear alongside National Highway-47 from Chavakkad to Kochi, selling ... Groups of farmers regularly visit Mala in Thrissur district after learning of this prime vegetable ... Jackfruit was born and cultivated in India but how many varieties do we have? And you can drive your car or hire a cab from all the major cities. Why does mangosteen from Pariyaram fetch such a high price? The first batch of trees Marlin planted began yielding fruit in four years although he cautions that it is best to give the tree a five-year gestation period. “Karnataka will overtake Kerala in a few years,” predicts Jacob Chalissery, a farmer. This is because initially everyone started planting mangosteen for their own consumption.


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