The world famous Hampi festival will be held from January 10, 2014, at Hampi, the capital of the once prosperous Vijaynagara Empire, in Bellary district.

The three-day annual cultural extravaganza would be inaugurated by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Minister of State for Labour P T Parameshwara Naik, who is also the district-in-charge Minister for Bellary district, told presspersons here on Friday.

The Government has decided to spend Rs six crore to hold the Hampi Festival, which is an expressive forum to the maestros of cultural field to depict the rich historical and cultural heritage to the outside world. The department would mobilise funds from sponsors and conduct the festival, he said.

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) declared Hampi as a world heritage site. All steps have been taken to safeguard historical monuments at Hampi by providing round the clock security, he said.

Union Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, Union Minister for Tourism K Chiranjeevi, Minister for Tourism and Higher Education R V Deshpande, Minister for Women and Child Development and Kannada and Culture Umashree would participate in the festival.

Mr Naik said two stages named after Vijayanagara kingdom ruler Krishnadevaraya and former Deputy Chief Minister late M P Prakash would be established at Hampi to hold various cultural programmes. Rudrambha Prakash, widow of M P Prakash, would be felicitated during the festival. M P Prakash, who was minister in various governments, started the Hampi festival, he said.

The festival is celebrated with much enthusiasm and many programmes and events such as dance, music, drama, processions take place to recreate a grandeur celebration of the bygone era. Noted artistes from across the country would be invited to present cultural shows. The district administration has made elaborate arrangements to conduct the festival on a grand manner, Mr Naik said.