Chalta (Elephant Apple)

Chalta (Elephant Apple): A Unique Tropical Fruit


Chalta, also known as Elephant Apple, is a tropical fruit that holds a special place in the hearts of fruit enthusiasts. With its distinctive shape, flavor, and health benefits, this fruit has gained popularity not only for its culinary uses but also for its medicinal properties. In this article, we will explore the origin, characteristics of the tree, description of the fruit and its benefits, distribution in India, and appreciate the allure of Chalta.

Common NameChalta (Elephant Apple)
Scientific NameDillenia indica
NativityIndian subcontinent
Climatic conditionsTropical
States in India foundWest Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Odisha,
parts of the Northeast


Chalta is native to the Indian subcontinent, particularly found in the tropical regions of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Myanmar. It has been a part of the local culture and cuisine for centuries, valued for its unique taste and versatility in various dishes. The fruit has also been used in traditional medicine due to its believed therapeutic properties.

Characteristics of the Tree

The Chalta tree, scientifically known as Dillenia indica, is a medium to large-sized evergreen tree that can grow up to 20 meters in height. It has a dense crown with glossy, dark green leaves that provide ample shade. The tree produces large, fragrant flowers that eventually develop into the distinctively shaped Chalta fruit. The tree’s grandeur and the attractive contrast between its dark foliage and the bright fruits make it a captivating sight in tropical landscapes.

Description of Fruit and Benefits

The Chalta fruit is unique in both appearance and taste. It is large, typically the size of a small melon, with a rough, greenish-yellow skin. The fruit has a thick, spongy rind that encases a tart, juicy pulp. The pulp is characterized by a sweet and tangy flavor, often compared to a blend of lemon, pineapple, and mango. The fruit is commonly used in the preparation of chutneys, jams, and pickles due to its distinctive taste.

Chalta not only offers a delightful culinary experience but also boasts several health benefits. It is a good source of vitamin C, providing antioxidants that support the immune system and promote overall well-being. The fruit is also known for its high fiber content, aiding digestion and maintaining a healthy gut. In traditional medicine, Chalta has been used to treat various ailments, including diarrhea, dysentery, and inflammation.

Distribution in India

Chalta is widely distributed in the tropical regions of India. It is commonly found in states such as West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Odisha, and parts of the Northeast. The warm and humid climate of these regions provides optimal conditions for Chalta tree growth and fruit production. Additionally, Chalta trees can be found in home gardens, forested areas, and near water bodies, reflecting the fruit’s adaptability to diverse environments.


Chalta, with its distinct shape, tangy taste, and potential health benefits, is a tropical delight that adds flavor and uniqueness to the Indian fruit landscape. From its origins in the Indian subcontinent to its versatile culinary applications, Chalta has carved a special place in local traditions and cuisines. The grandeur of the Chalta tree, with its lush foliage and abundance of fruits, enhances the beauty of tropical landscapes. With its refreshing flavor and potential health benefits, Chalta continues to captivate fruit enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals alike. As more people discover the delights of Chalta, its popularity is expected to grow, further solidifying its position as a cherished tropical fruit.

image_pdfDownload As PDF

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *