The week-long International Yoga Festival of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram concluded in Rishikesh on Wednesday.
The festival was in the news for all the wrong reasons as the organisers were charged with misusing the Uttarakhand tourism department logo and fixing the big Lord Shiva statue on the river Ganga. Many prominent speakers also gave the International Yoga Festival a miss.
The Uttarakhand Tourism Department, on the other hand, hosted its International Yoga Festival at Ganga Resort in Rishikesh and that concluded on Thursday.
Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev provided free Yoga training to participants on the concluding day. The volunteers of Baba Ramdev set up booths in various parts of Rishikesh to register people for the programme.
Though Parmarth Niketan also publicised that Baba Ramdev would join their festival, he decided to support the Uttarakhand Tourism Department event and not to conduct Yoga classes at the Parmarth Niketan’s Yog festival.
Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who was to attend the Ganga Aarti at Parmarth on 3 March, also cancelled his programme at the last minute.
A Tibetan leader based in Dehradun said, “His Holiness Dalai Lama was to come to Rishikesh. Even an advance part of the Tibetan government-in-exile arrived here to review security arrangements and other logistics. But the programme got cancelled due to unknown reasons.”
Among prominent names to give the Parmarth Niketan event a miss were Pranav Pandya, Acharya Balkrishna and others. The Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam began hosting the International Yoga Festival from 1989.