Curtains came down on the second International Shiva Festival and Maha Shivaratri celebrations in historic town of Sivasagar of the eastern Assam district.
Though the inclement weather played spoilsport during the festival days, the celebrations and the spiritual fervour were no less dampened with locals from across the district thronged the historic Shiva Doul to offer obeisance to Lord Shiva and seek blessings for peace and prosperity.
Sadhus, tourists, both domestic and foreign also regaled in the spiritual aura of Lord Shiva, apart from enjoying each and every programme lined up for the second International Shiva Festival.
Despite incessant rain on three days of the four-day festival that began on Sunday, people in thousands came out to celebrate the festival in all its religious and traditional gaiety.
The closing function on Wednesday evening had to be shifted from the original open air theatre erected at the Boarding Field to the nearby Natya Mandir because of an overcast sky.
Speaking on the occasion, the president of the temple development committee and deputy commissioner of Sivasagar Dr Subramoney Iyer Lakshmanan who had just recently taken over charge said that the second International Shiva Festival was a great opportunity for a learning experience and also a big challenge to face.
He lauded the sincere, dedicated and relentless services rendered by all the members of the sub-committees of the festival in ensuring a grand success of the festival.
However, he lamented that due to the inclement weather, people could not enjoy to the fullest and take part in all the programmes associated with the festival.
The deputy commissioner also lauded the police administration and officials of the district administration for the smooth conduct of the festival.
He further said that a road map has to be prepared from the experiences gathered from the two editions of the International Shiva Festival to make the event truly international to attract more tourists in future.
The deputy commissioner also lauded the health services who came in for prompt action when a tourist from Australia health condition deteriorated.
He assured that the district administration and the district health department will leave no stone unturned to make the tourist completely fit before sending off to the tourist’s home country.
Speaking on the occasion, superintendent of police Amitabh Sinha congratulated the people for the smooth conduct of the festival and lauded the stewardship of the deputy commissioner whom he said the ‘coordinating and binding force’.
He informed that as many as 350 security personnel were deputed including Assam Police personnel, CRPF men and home guards to maintain law and order during the festival.
The SP also lauded the tireless conduct of student volunteers who helped out the civil defence in maintaining discipline during the four days of the International Shiva Festival.
Later, winners of various competitions held among school children were given away prizes apart from felicitating select volunteers for their exemplary services.
The closing function culminated with the enactment of a ‘Bhaona’ by a noted troupe from the district which was witnessed with much enthusiasm by officials of the district administration and general public.