Researcher on Chapainawabganj history, professor Mazharul Islam, however, said that the zamindars did not plant the mango trees. Actually the mango grove was developed by a mango-lover Mr Hall–a British citizen. Before leaving the country, he sold the property to the zamindars.
There is a ‘mempachhand’ (mam’s favourite) tree variety that produces delicious mangos. It is presumed that the variety might be a favourite to certain British lady. That’s why the mango variety got such a name. The mango grove has other unfamiliar varieties including nawabpachhand, amritabhog, brindabani, kalimegha, golapbas, kejurkainja, jalibandha, multani, kanchamitha and others which are very tasty. There are also plants of fazli, lengra, khirshapat and gopalbhog mangoes in the grove.
The mango grove still survives as a proof of the century-old mango cultivation culture in Chapainawabganj. This has become a part of the local heritage.
Sayeedur Rahman has been working as a guard of this grove for 56 years. According to him, the grove once housed around 297 trees of 50 mango varieties. Only 65 trees of 1012 varieties are still surviving there.
He said that an influential person leased on the grove in 2001. The leasee had cut most the ancient mango trees including garjit, boubhulani, bhutbhuti, kerasina and others. Later he planted amrapali and others. However, the grove turned into a jungle due to lack of nursing.
The Chapainawabganj district administration has recently taken initiatives to transform the grove into 'Bangabandhu Live Mango Museum’. The construction of boundary walls is nearly completed.
Shibganj upazila nirbahi officer Sakib Al Rabbi said trees of delicious mangos including the local varieties will be planted at the place. Scientists working on mango varieties will be included in the initiatives. Primarily 100 varieties of mango trees will be conserved there. A bungalow will be constructed there for the visitors. The Kansat Raja’s mango grove will get back its aristocracy.
The initiative by the district administration has made general secretary of Shibganj Mango Producers Co-operative Society Shamim Khan very enthusiastic.
He said, “The museum will play a great role to boost a mango-centric tourism.”
Md Naizuddin, 86, lives at Parkansat village near to the Kansat Raja’s mango grove. He told Prothom Alo, “The grove is not less than two-century old. In our childhood, we used to see large mango trees there. Most of the trees have disappeared. The remaining ones must be survived.”
All the mango lovers in the district have such expectation like the senior person.