The State government will hold the Hampi Utsav at the eponymous capital of the Vijayanagar empire in the first week of January, Tourism Minister R.V. Deshpande has said.

Speaking to presspersons in Bangalore on Saturday, after a meeting with Minister of State for Labour and Bellary district in charge P.T. Parameshwara Naik and Minister of State for Kannada and Culture Umashree, Mr. Deshpande said the dates would be fixed soon. He said the utsav would feature performances by local artistes. It would be an important occasion for both State- and national-level artistes and their talent would be encouraged. Mr. Naik said the utsav was earlier scheduled for November but it was postponed owing to lack of sufficient time to make arrangements. “We will meet at Bellary on November 1 and the date will be finalised in consultation with local elected representatives,” he said.

“We have estimated that the expenses for the event will be nearly Rs. 6 crore. While the Department of Kannada and Culture has agreed to release Rs. 1 crore, the Department of Tourism will pitch in with Rs. 25 lakh. The zilla panchayats will also contribute some money and we will also explore funding from sponsors,” Mr. Naik said.

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