Lukewarm response to Pashupati fest

Kathmandu, October 19:

The first three-day Pashupati Festival-2065, organised to promote religious tourism, concluded today. Even though holding of such a festival for the first time has been depicted a success in itself, the much-hyped festival, however, failed to draw expected number of visitors due to poor preparation and failure of the organisers to formally and personally invite many special personalities and tourists.

The Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), one of the organisers of the event, could not send personal invitations, thanks to Dashain, which left PADT very little time to prepare and personally invite more international tourists and special guests.

The stalls were also not packed with items for display. The traditional Jhakis and Jatras could not be presented in an effective manner. According to PADT officials, only around 200,000 pilgrims visited the festival even though it had expected over 400,000 people to visit the festival.

Nirmal Kuikel, member secretary, PADT, attributed insufficient decoration

and late invitation to the guests and other pilgrims to lack of enough time for preparation due to Dashain holiday.

“Inappropriate time selection” is what he said was the reason for the poor turnout at the festival. He said the festival would be organised in the coming years as well. He said learning from the experience this year, the PADT would hold the festival a few days ahead of Shivaratiri from next year.

Gyan Bahadur Hamal, treasurer, PADT, said he was not much satisfied with the management of the festival. “Though we wanted to put on display some rare and valuable things like the conch, one-faced Rudraksha,Gahu Lochan, Sarpa Mani, Bhyaguta Mani and Nara Mani, we could not do so because of weak security.”

Manab Dharma Sewa Samiti and PADT were the joint organisers of the event. Subash Chandra Nembang, CA chairperson, attended the concluding ceremony today.