Work is in full swing at Balugodu near Virajpet

Work is in full swing on a sprawling 15-acre land at the sleepy and picturesque Balugodu, 6 km from Virajpet in Kodagu, for a unique Kodava Cultural Centre. It will reflect the Kodava heritage and tradition and function as a venue for various programmes organised by the Kodavas.

The Federation of Kodava Samajas, Kodava Samaja units in Kodagu and outside and Kodava associations have joined hands for the project, which is estimated to cost Rs. 12 crore. It is likely to be dedicated to the community by the end of this year. The B.S. Yeddyurappa government had released Rs. 2 crore for it.

A huge auditorium-cum-hall, expected to accommodate more than 1,500 people at a time, is being built at the spot.

Women and children will have separate seating arrangements. Close to the centre, two grounds are being prepared to host hockey and cricket tournaments.

The next edition of the Kodava Family Hockey Festival will be organised at Balugodu by the Madanda family, says Matanda C. Monnappa, honorary president of the Federation of Kodava Samajas and the president of Akhila Kodava Samaja.

The Federation of Kodava Samajas is liaising with the State government to secure additional funds to lay a synthetic hockey playing surface on one of the grounds.

The Federation of Kodava Samajas, Kodava Samaja units and associations have plans to mobilise resources for the purpose and they are banking on the support of the Kodavas settled outside the country. A guest house and a huge dining hall too are coming up there.

The traditional ‘mund mane' and ‘ain mane' (ancestral home) structures will come up at the spot. A museum is being planned next to it to herald the Kodava culture. Pictures, sounds and features of the Kodava culture would unfold one after the other at the museum with the pressing of a button, Mr. Monnappa said.

A congregation of the 28 Kodava Samaja units and associations is being planned at Balugodu in October, Mr. Monnappa said. Significantly, the centre would also herald the rich military tradition of the Kodava people, he added.

Keywords: Kodavas culture