Mussoorie 26th June 2022:In Mussoorie, the Queen of Hills, an amazing spectacle was witnessed on Sunday when about 20 thousand people jumped into the river together to catch fish. It is estimated that about 20 to 25 thousand kg of fish would have been caught during this period. Hundreds of tourists from Mussoorie also became eyewitnesses to this unique tradition.
20 to 25 thousand kg of fish are Estimated to be caught
the historic Rajmoun Mela was celebrated with pomp on Sunday in the Aglad river, a tributary of the Yamuna river. About 15 to 20 thousand people of Jaunpur development block of Tehri district, Jaunsar of Dehradun, Godar-Khatar area of Uttarkashi district, Vikasnagar and Mussoorie fished collectively in the Rajmaun fair.
Maun Mela, a collective fishing festival is celebrated in the Aglad river Every year in the last week of June, since the time of the princely state of Tehri. Elderly villagers say that Maun Mela has been celebrated for about 157 years. But in the years 2020 and 2021, it was not celebrated due to Covid Virus. After a gap of two years, there was a lot of enthusiasm among the villagers about the Maun Mela celebrated on Sunday.
Fair symbolises Brotherhood
During the princely period, the responsibility of security of the Maun Mela was entrusted to the Forest Department by the Tehri King. But Maun Mela is a spontaneous fair in which there is no scope for fighting, as all the villagers soon return to their villages after fishing. Such an example of brotherhood is hardly seen anywhere.
The fish is made unconscious by pouring powder made from the bark of Timru.
A fine powder made from the bark of the medicinal plant Timaru is used to make the fish unconscious. The responsibility of preparing it is taken by different- different belts. This time the villagers of Kharson, Kharak, Suransu, Bangaon, Jaidwar Talla and Malla, Tator, Phaprog, Chilamu, Pab, Koti, Mason and Sandab villages of the Silwar belt prepared the Timru powder.
On Sunday, villagers of Patidar villages had started gathering Timru powder since morning at a place called Maun Kot, about four km above the Aglad bridge of Delhi-Yamunotri National Highway 507. In the presence of all the Pantedars, after duly worshipping and inoculating Timru powder, the villagers jumped to catch fish in the river as soon as Timru powder was poured into the river. Many villagers and tourists on both sides of the river kept watching the villagers catching fish.
Most fishes found are trout species
A favourable environment for trout fishes is found in the Aglad river. Therefore, mostly trout species are found here. In the past, scientists of the Biodiversity Board were also present in the Aglad river in Maun Melas. It is believed that this festival celebrated once in a year also cleans the moss of the river and the fishes which the villagers could not catch in the freshwater coming from behind, they can be revived from the fresh water.
In the past, in the upper reaches of the Aglad river, two other Maun fairs by the name of Ghuranu Ka Maun and Manjhmaun were also held but they are just a part of history now since the seventies and eighties. Now only Rajmaun is organized at the end of the river, which is also called Bhind Ka Maun. After the formation of the Uttarakhand state by the people’s representatives of the area, there has been a demand from the government to declare this Rajmaun as a state fair, but the government has not given any serious assurance in this regard.