HAMPI: The next edition of Hampi Utsav is going to be a bigger and better one. The district administration hinted that it may take the event to an international level and expand the days of festivals from the present three to five.
The three-day cultural carnival was concluded with the participation of lakhs of people from around the country and world on Saturday.District Minister Santosh Lad is contemplating extending the celebration to two more days to accommodate more cultural programmes, rural sports and adventure activities.
“The idea is to facilitate tourists around the globe to know about the glory of Vijayanagara. The festival intends to promote the culture of the country,” Lad said.
The minister, however, did not divulge details about the expenditure of the carnival from the next edition.
“I can assure you that the Hampi Utsav will be organised as an international event from next year. There will be more artistes and the festival may also get extended. I shall hold talks with the district authorities in this regard,” he told Express.
He said the cost of Utsav will not peak if the event goes international. It’s estimated that the Utsav organisers -- Kannada and Culture Department, Tourism Department and District Administration -- have spent close to `8 crore.
In the last three days, lakhs of people from Ballari, Koppal and surrounding areas came in large numbers. Tourists from Bengaluru and other parts of the country too turned up. The organisers said nearly 700 people took helicoper ride in the last one week and the services will be extended for two more days.
High Court Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee, who presided over the valedictory function, said every state can easily boast of a festival of its own, be it Dasara in Karnataka, Durga Pooja in West Bengal or Onam in Kerala. Similarly, Hampi Utsav is a wonderful festival of Karnataka and has a long tradition to be cherished.
“The history lovers will be delighted to know that this festival has been celebrated since the reign of Vijayanagara kingdom. Hampi is a world heritage site and the aim of this festival is to bring together people from across the world.”