Troupes from Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh also participate
Bidar: It seemed as if the whole town joined in the celebrations of the 72nd Kannada Sahitya Sammelan in Bidar on Friday. The city is hosting the sammelan for the third time. The sammelan was earlier held in 1965 and 1985.
As many as 35 groups of folk artistes, 67 pro-Kannada organisations, school and college children, tableaux by private and government agencies, singers, dancers, delegates, women and children and others participated in the procession before the formal inauguration.
The people of Bidar were introduced to some folk arts rare in this part of the State. They included Nandi Kolu Kunita performed by the Sangameshwara Kala Sangha of Kunigal, Bhutada Kola Kunita by Tulu Nada Sangha of Bantakallu of Udupi district, Karadi Majalu of Sarwada of Bijapur district, Datti Kunita by Sri Lakshmi Devi Mela of Talakatnal in Belgaum dstrict and Drashtata by Krishna Parijata company of Dharwad.
The processionists danced to the beats of the Jagga Halage, drums made from bullock cartwheels. Septuagenarian Ramappa Sangalad of the Gajanana Janapada Kalavidara Sangha of Sulla of Dharwad district led the Jagga Halage troupe.
Kombu Kahale, the native version of the bugle, was played in tandem with dances of young school children. Anjaneya Swamy Kahale Kalavidara Sangha of Chitradurga performed on the Kombu Kahale.
Sri Chamundeshwari Kala Sangha of Mysore walked with the procession wearing masks of characters from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
An interesting fact of the sammelan procession was the performance of troupes from Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
The highlight of the event, however, is the all women troupe of drummers, the Sneha Sagara Tanda from Sagar in Shimoga district. The eight-member team provided a new beat to the whole procession.
Vijay Kumar, a college student dressed as Lord Basaveshwara, went around on a horse.
At least a dozen tableaux were part of the procession. Young boys and girls dressed as 12th century Sharanas attracted the attention of the crowd. Some government departments, new taluk panchayats and the zilla panchayat also presented their tableaux.
Police bands from Bidar and Gulbarga participated. Scouts and guides adorned two roles. They walked as a contingent. They also walked along with the processionists to enforcing discipline.
Funds crunch seemed to have affected the sammelan procession too. The reception committee secretary, D.K. Sidrama, on Wednesday announced that they wanted to use 22 camels, 21 horses, a dozen bullock carts and half a dozen elephants in the procession. But the number of camels was reduced to two and a lone horse walked along with its master. There were no elephants to be seen.
The streets through which the procession passed were decorated with digital banners, posters and buntings.