The week-long Kullu Dussehra, a centuries-old festival, ended Thursday as over 250 assembled deities started their journey back to their temples in beautifully decorated palanquins amid sounds of trumpets and drums.
However, the centuries old practice of sacrificing a buffalo, a male sheep, a fish, a crab and a chicken on the conclusion of the festival to "appease" gods and goddesses was not carried out for the first time due the high court ban.
"The Dussehra festivities ended peacefully and all the assembled deities have started returning to their respective areas," deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar, the chief organiser of the festival, told IANS.
The festival dates back to 1637 when Raja Jagat Singh ruled Kullu. He invited all local deities in Kullu from various temples to perform a ritual in honour of Lord Raghunath during Dussehra.
Since then, the annual assembly of deities from hundreds of village temples has become a tradition.
After abolition of the princely states, the Himachal Pradesh government has been inviting the deities and giving an honorarium to the 'kardars' (attendants to the deities) for participating in the festival.
Unlike other places, effigies of Ravan, Meghnad and Kumbhakarna are not burnt in Kullu Dussehra celebrations.
"We have convinced the Kardar Sangh (representatives of the deities) not to indulge in slaughter of animals and they assured us in this regard," Kanwar said.
The district administration had made elaborate arrangements to ensure implementation of the ban.
The Supreme Court Wednesday had refused to vacate or suspend the high court order banning animal sacrifice during Kullu Dussehra and in other religious rituals in Himachal Pradesh.