Gold mine in Hutti

Hutti in Raichur district is the country’s lone gold mine. The mines, owned by the State government, reach as deep as 2,600 feet. Every day, over 1,800 tonnes of gold ore is extracted from the mine. After being processed, this amounts to eight kilograms of gold per day.

Three hundred tonnes of ore is extracted from another mine near Hutti called Ooti, which is an open mine and Hirabuddinni. Hutti has three mines, called village shaft, central shaft and Mallappa shaft. Village shaft has a history dating back to centuries, but there is not much mining activity here. It is at Mallappa and central shafts that more gold is mined.


Unique museum at Navanagara
Owing to the submergence of some parts of Bagalkot town because of the backwaters of the Alamatti Dam built over the Krishna river, a new township, Navanagara, came up about six km away.

This is a well-planned township with all facilities including administrative buildings. A notable feature is the cultural complex of buildings that house the Uttara Karnataka Janapada Vastusanghrahalaya, Bayalu Rangamandira (open air theatre), and the Kannada Sahitya Parishat with a good library. The exhibits at the museum are unique because the visitor gets a glimpse into the life and culture of people from Uttara Karnataka, especially the folk culture that thrives in these parts. Life-size models of men and women enjoying a traditional kolata dance are part of the museum.

A tableau shows artistes playing on several traditional local instruments, cymbals, dholak, drums, and the shenai. In a typical scene from rural landcapes, aptly called the ‘Somari Katte’ under a banyan tree, people are depicted as sitting and chatting, some sleeping, a few playing games (traditional, native games).

The depiction even has dogs lazing around. A real display of a village elder’s house is part of the tableau ‘Halli Gowdara Mane’ with the chief sitting on the front verandah. There is a kitchen display scene with traditional pots and hearth, a shelter for animals, even as children are shown to be engaged in a game on the verandah.

A pastoral scene, where a flock of sheep graze, as people guard the flock under the watchful eyes of a Mudhol hound, is also part of the museum. The rural scenes on display are well planned and realistic. There are tableaux showing several facets of village life like dairy farming, basket and carpet weaving, and drawing water from a well.

These scenes with life-size models are true to life and well-executed. An exhibit room in the museum has photographs of the Upper Krishna project with canals, dams and aqueducts. Details of the Almatti dam are provided with the photographs. Some of the crops grown in the region such as sugarcane, jowar and sunflower can be seen. Rural life in areas that have been benefitted from the project are also depicted.

The museum also provides a grim reminder of the havoc caused by the backwaters of the Krishna including submergence of parts of Bagalkot town such as the British cemetery, fort, dargah, temples, streets, houses and agricultural lands. A few replicas of inscriptions found in the houses that were later submerged give an idea of the rich cultural heritage of these villages.

D B N Murthy