To know more about Karnataka polity’s most iconic building, head to Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, where the Department of Information has organised an exhibition of rare photographs. Nearly 180 photos, many in black-and-white, depicting the State Assembly’s 60-year-history are on display here.

Did you know that the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru participated in the ground-breaking ceremony for the Vidhana Soudha in 1952? Or that a huge procession was taken out till Town Hall to welcome President Babu Rajendra Prasad?

Three-day exhibition

To know more about Karnataka polity’s most iconic building, head to Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, where the Department of Information has organised an exhibition of rare photographs. Nearly 180 photos, many in black-and-white, depicting the State Assembly’s 60-year-history are on display here. The three-day exhibition was inaugurated by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar here Monday. Information Department officials said the exhibition was first organised at the Vidhana Soudha on June 18, as part of the 60th anniversary of the first session of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. “However, public had no access and so we chose the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath,” an official said.

The department had to trawl through nearly two lakh photos — right from 1952 to present. “We are digitising the old photographs; nearly 20 per cent has been digitised so far,” the official said.

Down memory lane

Mahalingeshwar Athani, an octogenarian visitor, recalled then President S. Radhakrishnan’s inspection of the Vidhana Soudha that was under construction. “The estimate for the Vidhana Soudha was Rs. 1.5 crore. It took four years to complete the construction. The stone plaque that was placed when Jawaharlal Nehru participated in the ground-breaking ceremony still exists. It has now been moved from its original location to its current location — near the main stairwell,” he said. Chief Minister Shettar told reporters history came alive before his eyes when he looked at the rare photographs on display. Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs S. Suresh Kumar, Legislative Council Chairperson D.H. Shankaramurthy and Legislative Assembly Speaker K.G. Bopaiah were present.