kannada rajyotsava

Saturday, October 31, 2009
Mysore Palace

Image via Wikipedia

Every year November 1st is celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava in the Karnataka state of India. Kannada Rajyotsava marks the formation of the state of Karnataka as we know today. On this special day all the Kannadigas from the state come together as one and celebrate the day with great pomp and show.

The Rajothsava has an interesting story. In 1956, Mysore state, comprising most of the area of the erstwhile princely state of Mysore, was merged with the Kannada speaking areas of the Bombay and Madras presidencies, as also of the principality of Hyderabad, to create a unified Kannada-speaking subnational entity. The newly unified state initially retained the name “Mysore”, which was that of the erstwhile princely state which formed the core of the new entity, but people from North and Hyderabad region were against the name as it was closely associated with the erstwhile principality and the southern areas of the new state. In deference to this logic, the name of the state was changed to Karnataka on November 1, 1973. D. Devaraj Urs was the Chief Minister of the state when this landmark decision was taken. The name Karnataka was welcome by everyone in the new state and all accepted the new name.

The festival is an official state holday, and it’s literal English translation means “state festival”. Happy Karnataka Rajyotsava!

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