Jubilation and revelry marked the inaugural ceremony of the three-day Kittur Utsav-2016 here on Sunday.
The celebrations commenced with the Small Scale Industries and District In-charge minister Ramesh L. Jarkiholi and other dignitaries garlanding the statue of Rani Chennamma (queen of the erstwhile princely state of Kittur in Bailhongal taluk now) at her native Kakti, 6 km from Belagavi city. Large number of villagers turned up for the occasion.
Later, a function was organised where Mr. Jarkiholi and MP Suresh C. Angadi addressed the people and paid rich tributes to Rani Chennamma. Belagavi Zilla Panchayat president Asha Prashant Aihole, Deputy Commissioner N. Jayaram, Superintendent of Police, leaders of various Kannada organisations and social workers participated.
The government has been organising Kittur Utsav, essentially as ‘Vijayothsava,’ to mark the heroic rebellion of warrior queen Rani Chennamma against the British regime on October 23 in 1824, that has also earned her the sobriquet and legendary status as the ‘first woman freedom fighter of India.’
After the inauguration, the district minister and other dignitaries rushed to Kittur where at the entrance they accorded ceremonial reception the “Vijay Jyoti,” which started from the memorial of the queen in Bailhongal town last Sunday.
The minister inaugurated the grand and colourful cultural rally consisting of nearly 40 contingents of artists representing different art forms native to the region and State. Later, an exhibition of consumer products was also inaugurated at the Kittur fort premises, the venue of the main cultural programmes.
Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa is likely to inaugurate the cultural programmes later in the evening at 7 p.m.