Miscellany.

ART IMITATES LIFE Installations in the rock garden built at Gotagodi of Shiggaon taluk in Haveri district.A rock garden that depicts rural life

Gotagodi is located on the Pune-Bangalore National Highway 4 and is 35 kms from Hubli. The village of sculptures is called ‘Utsava Rock Garden’ set up by the Dasanur Samuha. The village is the result of the hard work of Prof Tippanna Solabakkanavar and his team, which has created many such sculptures across the state. The permission of the Tourism Department has been sought by the builders of the garden, but is entirely private-funded. The principal attraction of the rock garden is a circle named after Kannada actor Rajkumar. Then there are sculptures of the characters that the actor essayed in several Kannada films over the decades. This art village also has unique seating arrangements such as benches for people to take in the installations.

Dairy farming, cattle, shepherds, cowherds, poultry are all depicted by way of statues here.

Then, there are also trees, wildlife all in the form of installations at the art village.

Rural lifestyle has been so well portrayed that one is bound to stop and give a second look at all the statues. There are portrayals of rural women at work, (sweeping, winnowing etc), blacksmiths, potters, shop-keepers, astrologers, rope maker, bangle sellers and washermen at the village. This rock garden provides a great picture of how rural life was, in pre-Independence India. At that point, villages did not have exclusive school buildings. Classes were conducted inside temples. Such classes were called ‘Saligudi’. “We will soon create one such school here,” explains Solabakkanavar.

Apart from these depictions, the rock garden also has new art installations in the form of terracotta sculptures.

The sculptures here also depict the North Karnataka way of life, including the farmers of the region. Solabakkanavar also plans to introduce visitors to North Karnataka culture, cuisine and art forms.

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