Villagers gear up for fish catching festival

maun fishing festival aglar river
file photo

 Ajay Ramola



Villagers from 114 village from Jaunpur Garhwal region will congregate in Aglar River, 20 km from Mussoorie to celebrate the Historic Fishing festival popularly called “Maun” held annually on coming June 28.

A cluster of the villages takes turn to prepare Tonnes of “Timru” plant powder that will be dumped into the Aglar rivulet to paralyse the fish that will be collected by the villagers waiting downstream to be taken home as a prized catch for a sumptuous meal. This year the cluster of villages under Silgaon Pati have prepared the Timru powder for the fishes that will be dumped at a place called Maundkote.

For Eight-year-old Gambhir from Nainbagh this will be his first opportunity to participate in his first fishing festival. I am looking forward to catch ‘Eeel’ known as goose locally and other fishes for my family said Gambhir.

Bitto Kavi from Nainbagh said the festival was unique as it was rooted in local traditions dating back to the times of the Maharaja of Tehri. This was the day when the Maharaja visited the place to inaugurate the fishing festival. The villagers had been gathering at the rivulet to see the Maharaja and take the fish home as a blessing. He demanded that the festival should be included in the tourism calendar as it is being held from ages.

Local resident Shoorvir Rawat said that the festival will be organized with fervour and gaiety on Thursday at Aglar River that will be attended by the tourists and researchers alike on Thursday. He said that the festival is being held from past 152 years. The festival was also called Raj Maun as the royal family members use to attend the festival on regular basis.  He said that tourists can also participate under the guidance of the experienced villagers in catching the fish on the occasion in limited numbers.