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Curtains fall on Hampi Utsav

Staff Correspondent

Natural, cultural resources will be harnessed to promote tourism, says Minister

HAMPI: Top priority will be given to harnessing natural and cultural resources available in the State for promoting tourism, Tourism Minister D.T. Jayakumar said here on Saturday.

Delivering the valedictory address on the last day of Hampi Utsav, a three-day festival of dance, drama and music, Mr. Jayakumar said the development of tourism has not been accorded much priority.

Proposal

The State Government has placed a Rs. 572-crore proposal before the Japan Bank for International Cooperation for the development of Hampi, a world heritage site.

Commending Deputy Chief Minister M.P. Prakash for organising the festival, which projects the culture, traditions and heritage of Hampi, among other things, he wished that Hampi Utsav would overtake Mysore Dasara in the coming years. Mr. Prakash, in his address, was of the view that organising such cultural festivals will help throw more light on hidden historical facts.

Steps taken

He spoke about the steps being taken by the Government to protect and preserve the world heritage site, besides measures for the comprehensive development of Hampi with the help of private sector's participation.

Kannada University Vice-Chancellor B.A. Vivek Rai said a golden era for Hampi has begun.

The organising of the cultural festival and the formation of an authority for the management of the heritage site will help in the systematic development of Hampi.

Continuous efforts should be made to promote culture, tradition and heritage, he said.

`Protect sanctity'

Sri Sanganabasava Swamiji of Kottur Mutt underlined the need to protect the sanctity of Hampi. Reiterating his demand to ban, among other things, the sale of alcohol and narcotics in the area, the swamiji urged Mr. Prakash to steps in this direction.

Minister for Sugar Amaregowda Bayyapur spoke on the occasion.

Minister for Women and Child Welfare Bhagirathi Marulasiddanagowda and Anil Lad, Santosh Lad and Mahima Patel, legislators, were present.

Director Kannada and Culture Muddu Mohan welcomed the gathering.

Procession

A colourful procession of artistes of various folk forms dressed in their traditional attire and an equally colourful display of fireworks held the large gathering spellbound.

Entertainment programmes including a mandolin recital by U. Srinivas and Odissi dance by Rohan Gohar enthralled connoisseurs.

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