Commemorating the 509th birth anniversary of Kempegowda, the man who founded the city of Bengaluru, the state government on Thursday unveiled a statue dedicated to him.
A 30-feet-tall statue of Kempegowda was unveiled by Karnataka Deputy CM G Parameshwara in Ramanashree Park in Sadashivnagar, near Mekhri Circle. Other dignitaries present were Union Minister and Bengaluru MP DV Sadananda Gowda, Bengaluru Mayor R Sampath Raj and Malleshwaram MLA Ashwath Narayan.
While Kempegowda’s birth anniversary falls on June 27, the celebration was delayed due to Model Code of Conduct being in place during the state elections.
Following the unveiling of the statue, a ‘Kempegowda Dinacharane’ was organised in Lalbagh at the memorial of Kempegowda's daughter-in-law Lakshmidevi.
However, in the light of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee deteriorating health, CM HD Kumaraswamy has hinted at postponing other activities planned for the event.
For instance, the Kempegowda Awards, that were supposed to be awarded to recipients CM Kumaraswamy, have also been postponed to a yet to be notified date. The awards are given by BBMP to people who have made notable contributions in the fields of medicine, education media, sports, theatre, film, literature, environment, folklore, music, dance, yogasana, judiciary, journalism, culture, photography, social service, and painting.
It was only last year that the Department of Kannada and Culture had decided to annually observe Kempegowda Day on June 27 under Siddaramaiah’s government. Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Development Authority was formed to organisecelebrations for that event.
“Kempegowda’s birth anniversary will be celebrated at all taluks, districts including Bengaluru on June 27 every year,” then Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah had said, inaugurating a grand gala at Vidhan Soudha.
The city of Bengaluru was founded by Kempegowda, who was a feudal lord of the Vijayanagara empire, in the 1500s. Kempegowda built the city with the idea of setting up a network of lakes and tanks on which the city would rely for its water needs. It was only when the British came here that they started drawing water from Cauvery river.
The city’s airport and the main bus station are also named after its founder.