Karnataka Rajyotsava: Kannadigas around the world have come together on Friday to celebrate the formation of Karnataka, as the state observes Karnataka Rajyotsava on November 1. Also known as Kannada Rajyotsava, the foundation day is one of the biggest festivals in Karnataka, and it is celebrated with great pomp and grandeur every year.

On this day, the entire state of Karnataka wears a festive look, with red and yellow Kannada flags decorating streets, houses and institutions. The state flag is also hoisted at offices of political parties and various localities. The Rajyotsava is celebrated not only by Hindus but Muslims and Christians as well, as it is not a religious festival but one that marks the unity of the state.

To mark the 64th anniversary of the Karnataka Foundation Day, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa will be giving out the Rajyotsava award, the second-highest civilian honour in the state, to 64 personalities across various fields.

Brief History and Significance:

The state of ‘Mysore’ was formed on November 1, 1956, by an amalgamation of all Kannada speaking districts across South India, comprising areas of the erstwhile princely state of Mysore, Kannada-speaking areas of the Bombay and Madras presidencies, as well as the principality of Hyderabad.

However, it was reorganised as Karnataka on November 1, 1973, with Devraj Arasu as the Chief Minister.

Karnataka Rajyotsava:

In Karnataka, November 1 is a public holiday, so the celebrations at commercial establishments take place in the following days of the week.

The day is marked by hoisting the Karnataka flag at strategic places across the state as the state anthem ‘Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate’ is sung.

The flag hoisting ceremony is followed by addresses from the Chief Minister and the Governor. In major cities, including state capital Bengaluru, which is also the country’s IT capital; private companies, as well as schools and colleges,  organise a number of cultural events.

The state government also gives out ‘Rajyotsava Awards’ on this day to people who have made great contributions towards the development of Karnataka.

The Rajyotsava awards are handed to people in fields ranging from literature, sculpture, painting, folk art, theatre, music, sports, yoga, films, television, Yakshagana, Bayalata, education, journalism, social service, agriculture, environment, medicine, to judiciary.

About Karnataka:

Situated along the western coastline of India, Karnataka is the sixth-largest state in the country by area, and eighth-largest with a population of over 60 million people.

Karnataka also has the fourth-largest economy in the country, with a contribution of over Rs 15 lakh crore to gross domestic product (GDP) of India.

The state hosts some of the most beautiful holiday destinations like Coorg, also known as the Scotland of India, and Chikmagalur, that makes Karnataka the highest producer of coffee in India. The state also boasts of its royal history with former capital Mysore (renamed as Mysuru).

There are many monuments of historical importance that will take you through centuries of the rule of various dynasties — from the Kadamba dynasty to the Hoysalas and Cholas, all the way down to the Wodeyars and the Nizams.