SIVASAGAR, Jan 24 - Shivaratri festival in Sivasagar centering around the three-century old Shiva Doul on the southern bank of historic Sivasagar Borpukhuri is bracing up to become an international event from this year with assured participation of tourists from France, Italy, Romania, USA and Australia.
The festival will be held on February 13, 14 and 15 next and has already been christened as the International Shiva Festival by the Sivasagar district administration. As a part of the programme, the Sivasagar district administration has launched a massive cleanliness drive in and around the mandir township, banning the use of plastics beyond a certain point, training a group of youths as guides for foreign tourists, improving the road connectivity to historic places and relics spread over the district, illuminating the old Dikhow bridge built by the British in 1937 with glow lights and preparing for a cultural extravaganza at the Shiva Doul premises during the three days by some of the most renowned artists of international repute. The tourists� guide training programme was inaugurated by Narayan Melang Konwar, DC, Sivasagar and was attended by Abhijit Kumar Boruah, DDC, Ranjan Kumar Boruah, Dr Pratim Sarmah, Saradi Gogoi, DIPRO, Sivasagar and Khalilur Rahman Hazarika.
It may be mentioned that thousands of devotees of Lord Shiva and Shaivites from across the country visit Shiva Doul on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri every year and the mela, organised on the occasion is thronged by about half a million people and traders from different places.
The awareness meeting on harmful effects of plastics and a cleanliness drive was led by Sampreety Goswami, RCO, Sivasagar and was participated among others by Dr Soumerjyoti Mahanta, Principal, Sivasagar Commerce College, Kartik Ch Dutta, educationists Bikash Dey, Chandan Phukan and Manirul Islam Bora, journalist.