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Devotees take part in fish catch at Khandige

Devotees take part in the traditional fish catch organised on account of the Khandige fair at Chelaru near Pavanje.

The annual fair of the Dharmarasu Kshethra in Chelaru near Pavanje is a unique venture.

A large number of devotees participated in the traditional fish catch in Nandini River held as a part of the Khandige fair on Wednesday.

The fair, traditionally known as the ‘Ermal Jappu-Khandevu Adepu’, marks the culmination of the ‘Khandevu Nemotsava’ of Dharmarasu Kshethra in Chelaru.

The mass fishing activity in the river takes place on a particular day during the annual fair, which is called ‘Khandevuda Ayano’.

Ritual

After Aditya Mukkaldi, Dharmadarshi of the Khandige Dharmarasu Kshetra, offers prasadam to the fish, the devotees start catching fish in the river. Even this year devotees waited for the ritual to be completed so that they could plunge into the water to catch fish.

The devotees, who participated in large numbers, bring the nets and other fishing equipment to catch the fish. The catch is sold at the same venue.

Enthusiastic people had entered the water well before 7 am with nets and other equipment to catch fish and were waiting for the bursting of cracker. After the crackers were burst, the water was abuzz with activities.

‘Good for health’

There is a belief that the consumption of fish caught during the fair is good for health. Hence, the fish is sold at a high price. There are also some people who visit the spot only to purchase the fish.

The members of Nandini Mithra Mandali were seen managing the traffic at the venue. They helped those who were struggling to come out of water after catching the fish and also announced in loud speakers to the devotees to be cautious.

Shobhendra Sasihithlu said, “I have been coming here to catch fish for the last 25 years. This year, I have come with friends. With an increase in the water level, I have caught fish as expected.”

Sukesh Pavanje said, “Owing to the sanctity of the river, none of the devotees faces any hardship while catching fish. We all catch with unity and share among ourselves.”

Wide variety

Some of the fish caught are ‘Kolaitharu,’ ‘Payya,’ ‘Mala,’ ‘Kevaje,’ ‘Mugudu,’ prawn, crab, ‘Kaane,’ ‘Sudetha Nang,’ ‘Mudai’ and ‘Thede’.

Aditya Mukkaldi said, “There is a huge demand for the fish as native breeds of fish are available. Such fish catching fest continue the tradition of Tulunadu.”

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