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Annual Fishing Festival of Panzath Qazigund



Apart from the enchanting beauty due to it's lofty snow covered mountain, vast green grassy Meadows and perennial fresh water streams, the valley of is also famed due to it's unique and centuries old customs and traditions which it's people have been celebrating cutting the religious and other sectarian lines. Panzath village of Qazigund area lies just close to tehsil headquarter at a distance of three kilometers. It isn't popular due to it's selfless and kindhearted people but due to it's abundance of springs. It is said that within a radius of 1.5 kilometers, this village is bestowed with almost 500 fresh water springs. It is because of this it is named as Panzath. These springs not only provide fresh drinking water and quench thirst to it's people but a dozen adjoining villages too get water for homes as well as for irrigation of their thousands of kanals of agricultural and horticultural lands. Blessed by the crystal clear waters, these springs have become a major attraction for the local populace. Annually they converge at these springs during spring season to make a cleaning of these precious water resources. Through dredging and extracting weeds from these water bodies, the people of Panzath and neighborhood are trying their best to keep these blessings of Almighty intact and free from all kinds of pollutions. On that annual special day, children, youth and even elderly people too go for fishing in these springs. Some return home with dozens of kilograms of fresh fish, while others succeed in catching up few kilograms and no one returns empty handed on the urs like special day. Preparations for the annual event are initiated weeks before, wicker and withies made light baskets are kept ready many days before to catch trout and other myriad of fish in the spring. The youth of the village state that they have inherited this centuries old tradition from their forefathers who were fishing in the water body and considering the cleaning activity not less than a worship. In the present scenario of climate change, global warming and other pollutions, our earth is facing a tricky situation to cope with the ever increasing global temperature and climate change due to which glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, sea level is rising at a fast pace and fresh drinking water is becoming scarce. As a result our future generation is most likely to face a major problem in the near future and our leaders are unanimous about the possible third world War on the issue of fresh water. From this perspective, it is imperative to conserve all water bodies particularly the ones providing fresh and clean water and we must get inspired at an earliest from the people of Panzath who's untiring efforts have even been acclaimed by the Honourable Prime Minister of our nation in his popular Man Ki Baat Radio program. They are doing a wonderful work to conserve this heritage water body and also keep the custom of fishing alive on this special day. Not only this, on this annual occasion they invite their close relatives and daughters married outside the village and make some popular dishes to welcome them. More than a custom or tradition, it has become a socio-religious and cultural event to make it a grand get-together. On this occasion they perform another duty of offering special prayers for their dead relatives. In the graveyards they through rose and other floral petals over their graves and distribute hand made Chapaties among the needy people. Locally the custom is called as Rohan Posh which has been the centuries old practice in every nook and corner of the valley. Yesterday when the fishing festival was being celebrated, enthusiastic children, youth and elderly equally were overjoyed to participate in the custom and they were proudly displaying the fish quantity in their wicker baskets and some were catching through the traditional nets. While speaking to a number of media persons, people especially the youth of the village vowed to keep the tradition alive in their lives and transmit the same to their future generations. In contemporary times when people of the whole globe are anxiously craving for every drop of fresh water, Panzath residents deserve all applause for voluntarily initiating the cleanliness drive of their fresh water body which is the main source of their drinking water as well as helps them to irrigate their thousands of kanals of agricultural and horticultural lands.


Writer is a columnist

hailing from Qazigund Kashmir.



The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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