MANGALURU: Here’s a fishing festival that brings together people belonging to all faiths. The annual fishing festival of the Dharmarasu Shree Ullaya temple festival at Chelyaru Khandige, which was held on Wednesday, attracted people from across the region where devotees caught fish in the Nandini River.
From senior citizens to children, devotees entered the muddy river, and tried their luck.
Within two hours, most of them had their share of riverine fish, including pearl spot, paiya, irpe and sarkar and larger ones like mudava. Lawrence Cutinha from Pavanje caught a handful of fish and was looking for more.
“The festival is not restricted to one particular community. Everyone is allowed to catch fish at the festival. It is an age-old custom of this village,” he said. The fishing festival began at 7 am after the prasadam was offered to the river and at the sound of a firecracker, people rushed to the river.
Due to the festival, regular fishing was suspended in the river for an entire lunar cycle so that all participants get their share of fish. Anticipating a good catch, people come with nets of different sizes. “Some people even buy new nets for this festival ... it is the joy of fishing together with family and friends and later feasting on the fish we catch,” said Santhosh, a participant.
Temple official Adithya Mukaldhi said the fishing festival is open for all. “It is our tradition. In those days, when there were no vehicles, people used to come on foot to the temple — some walking for even two days — carrying food,” Temple authority Adithya Mukaldhi said.