Staff Correspondent

Organisers heave a sigh of relief as rains give a respite

  • Chief Minister, Governor offer puja to Sri Bhuvaneshwari
  • Chief Minister reaffirms commitment to improve facilities

    HAMPI: Hampi Utsav-2006, a three-day mega cultural event, got off to a traditional and colourful start at the erstwhile seat of Vijayanagar empire on Friday, thanks to good weather which came as a relief to the large gathering.

    The region had received incessant rains for the past 24 hours, casting doubts about the Hampi Utsav taking off.

    Governor T.N. Chaturvedi, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, and Ministers M.P. Prakash, B. Sriramulu, and Iqbal Ansari were given a traditional welcome and were brought in a procession led by women carrying "poorna kumbha kalasa". The Governor and the Chief Minister offered puja to the idol of Goddess Bhuvaneshwari to inaugurate Hampi Utsav.

    The Governor, who delivered the speech in Kannada, recalled the glorious past of the Vijayanagar empire and stressed the need to develop the tourist centre. Mr. Prakash, who was instrumental in organising the cultural festival, spoke.

    I.M. Vittal Murthy, Commissioner for Tourism, welcomed the gathering.

    The Chief Minister, who released books brought out by the Kannada University on the occasion, said that the Government was committed to develop the historic town.

    He said it was a matter of pride for all as Hampi, which enjoyed the outstanding universal values, was listed in the UNESCO's list of world heritage sites.

    Mr. Kumaraswamy said: "It is the duty and responsibility of one and all to protect and preserve the heritage values at Hampi."

    The Government would make budgetary provisions for the development of Hampi and for tourism development in consultation with Mr. Prakash, he said.