Sivasagar, May 2: The 50 days countdown to International Day of Yoga was marked with a 'Yoga Utsav' in Assam's Sivasagar town, the seat of power of Ahom rulers, on Monday with participation of over 10,000 people from different Northeastern states, an official said.
Union Ayush Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Union MoS for Ayush Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai, Union MoS for Petroleum and Gas Rameswar Teli, Health ministers of Assam, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, several MPs from the region and senior officials also took part in the programme.
The event, conducted by Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY) under the Ministry of Ayush, was simultaneously held at seven locations, including Thora Dol, Rudrasagar Dol, Ronghar, Tolatol Ghar, Kareng Ghar and Joydol, all places of historic importance within the periphery of Sivasagar town.
The demonstration of Common Yoga Protocol was done by a team of MDNIY led by its Director, Dr Ishwar V Basavaradi, at the premises at Sivadol (Shiva temple) in the heart of the town, the official added.
Speaking on the occasion, Sonowal said, "As thousands of people from all the Northeastern states came together at Sivasagar to perform yoga, it reinforces our sustained effort to put the iconic heritage sites of Assam in the tourism map of the world through this event today.
"The idea behind the Utsav is to encourage people to take up yoga, a wonderful gift of our thousands of years of civilization, so that they can enrich their quality of life".
In a series of Tweets after the event, Sonowal wrote: "Sivasagar is one of the iconic archaeological districts of India. The #50DaysToIDY2022 event will help unlock the massive potential in our tourism sector and become Vocal for Local."
In another tweet Sonowal said "I thank all those who became part of this #50DaysToIDY2022 countdown event, especially the people of Sivasagar, for making it a huge success."
Sivasagar was selected for the Yoga Utsav in line with a plan unveiled by the prime minister to develop five archaeological sites, viz. Rakhigari (Haryana), Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh), Sivasagar (Assam), Dholavira (Gujarat) and Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu), into "iconic" sites across India.
Sivasagar assumes great historical importance as it was the epicentre of the Ahom kingdom which ruled between 13th and 19th century.
The eight edition of International Day of Yoga is being promoted through multiple programmes by the AYUSH Ministry to take the message of yoga across the world to a wider audience, including events to mark 100 days, 75 days and 25 days countdown.