Rajasthan on Thursday created a world record bringing over a lakh of people together at a yoga session to mark the International Day of Yoga.
Two representatives from Guinness World Records, watched as Yoga guru Ramdev put the gathering - which included Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje - through a series of asanas.
The international private organisation then handed over a certificate to Raje and Ramdev, saying it had been the largest gathering worldwide of people performing yoga.
“The largest yoga lesson was achieved by Government of Rajasthan, Patanjali Yogpeeth and District Administration at Kota, Rajasthan, India on 21 June 2018,” it said.
Nearly two lakh people were at the RAC grounds for the state-level function, also attended by ministers, MLAs and bureaucrats.
Cameras set up at the site and on drones determined that 1.05 lakh people performed the asanas, beating the previous record of 55, 524 people in Mysore in 2017.
The yoga camp started at 5 am and the 15 exercises that were part of the protocol for setting a record were performed from 6.30 am to 7 am.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje announced plans to set up a yoga centre with an ‘acharya’ to coach people at each district headquarters.
She also asked Ramdev to set up an Acharayakulam in Kota, on the lines of the Vedic school set up by him near Haridwar.
She said the country could emerge as the ‘vishwa guru’ or world leader with the help of yoga.
“Yoga roots out all bad habits and tendencies from the body and soul,” Ramdev said.
State Health Minister Kalicharan Saraf, Agriculture Minister Phrabhulal Saini, legislators and top bureaucrats attended the event.
The record-breaking crowd included a large number of students preparing for competitive exams in Kota, often described as a coaching hub. People were brought in buses from four districts of the Kota division.
“I am proud to be the part of an event that has set a world record and highly elated to have performed yoga on International Yoga Day,” said Aakriti Shrivastav, an IIT-JEE aspirant from Uttar Pradesh.
She said she has made up her mind to spare 10 to 20 minutes for yoga every day.
Twinkle Rana, an NEET aspirant from Jharkhand, said she felt physically and mentally good after the session.
At Udaipur’s Narayan Seva Sansthan, over 500 differently abled people performed yoga, Prashant Agrawal, president of the sansthan, said.
Soldiers at the Jaipur military station and their family members were also part of the countrywide celebrations to mark the fourth International Yoga Day.
“A soldier has to be physically and mentally fit at all times and yoga fulfils the twin purposes,” said an officer involved in conducting a yoga event at the 61s Cavalry grounds in Jaipur.