Adorned with surreal beauty, Uttarakhand is a state that’s vibrant culture and traditions will leave you in awe. The customs & traditions followed at the festive events are different and will surprise you. One such festival is Maun festival of Uttarakhand.
Maun Mela – Fishing Festival of Uttarakhand
Maun Mela is a famous fair of Uttarakhand that is celebrated every year in Jaunpur block in Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. Large number of people gathers to celebrate this fair. Along with Jaunpur it is also celebrated in regions of Mussoorie, Vikasnagar. This mela is like a great fishing festival in which people assemble together and enjoy catching fishes.
People start preparing for the fair one month before. Villagers come with their traditional fishing tools. Various scientists carrying on research on species of fish also take part in the fair. Even visitors from outside also takes part in the fair.
Maun Mela is a very old fair that has been celebrated for ages in Tehri. It is said that Maun fair has been started by Tehri king, Narendra Shah at Nilhad river. Earlier, the king of Tehri use to participate in this festival with his wife and lashkar. Due to some mutual differences, Maun Mela was closed in the year 1844. It was restarted in 1949.
Maun Mela is also called as the silence fair. It is called silence fair as timur plant powder is used for fishing and is poured into the river. The bark of stem of timur plant is dried and finely powdered in mortar (okhli) or gheerat. This powder is known as ‘Maun’ and it makes fishes unconscious for some time. Timur plant is a natural herb that holds high medicinal value and does not harm the aquatic ecosystem.
After pouring in the powder, people start fishing with their net, fatiadha, kundiyada and hands. The biggest fish caught is offered at the local temple. After a long tiring fishing day, people return back home and together enjoy various fish dishes.