Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mazgaon Mango

The Mazagon Mango of Bombay with the Papilio Bolina or Purple-eyed Butterfly - 1813

Plate thirty-one from the first volume of James Forbes' "Oriental Memoirs", a work drawn from one hundred and fifty folio volumes that Forbes (1749-1819) filled with notes and sketches while travelling through India in the 1760s-70s. On his way from Surat to Anjengo, Forbes passed through the Konkan. At Mazagaon, Goa this keen observer of nature wrote of the mango tree: 'The Mango, so deservedly esteemed one of the greatest blessings in India, abounds in most parts of its extensive dominions...the fruit is delineated in its various stages, as is sometimes seen on the same tree, adorned by one of the most beautiful Indian butterflies.' Mazagaon at one time was reputed for its great variety of mango trees which fruited twice a year, particularly the Alphonso which Forbes mentions.

Source : British Library

Information Courtesy: Rare Book Society of India

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