People were in a celebration mood with every road and street decorated with mango leaves and twigs, flowers and rangolis.
The native village of former chief minister D Devaraja Urs, which has a population of 1,200 persons, was decked up to host Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and other dignitaries during the launch of the birth centenary celebrations of Urs.
The chief minister, soon after landing at the Mysuru Airport at Mandakalli, rushed to Kallahalli to offer floral tributes to the tomb of Urs. The tomb at Urs’ farm was decorated with flowers and relatives of Urs, including his youngest daughter Bharathi Urs, had gathered at the place.
The next stop was Urs’ ancestral house in the middle of the village, where Siddaramaiah inaugurated a photo exhibition organised by the Information and Public Relations Department. Along with his Cabinet colleagues and Urs’ contemporaries, the chief minister went into nostalgic mood, seeing the collection of photographs, which gave an insight into Urs’ life and achievements.
Addressing the residents of the village, who welcomed him with great enthusiasm, and had occupied all vantage points around the dais, Siddaramaiah formally announced the launch of the year-long celebration of Urs’ birth centenary and adoption of Kallahalli to be developed comprehensively as a model for other villages in future.
“Besides, the tomb and the ancestral house of Urs will be renovated and developed as memorials. The Devaraja Urs Bhavan will be constructed in Hunsur town,” he announced.
Responding to demands from various people, he said, even Bettada Thunga, in Periyapatna taluk, where Urs originally belongs, as it is his parents’ place, will also be developed comprehensively. But, he did not mention about adoption. Urs, after his birth at Bettada Thunga had been adopted into the family of his grand aunt at Kallahalli, so he was brought up and educated in Kallahalli.
The roads in the village had been temporarily converted into one-ways for the smooth flow of traffic. The village is situated between two highways — Mysuru-Mangaluru and Mysuru-Kannur. While the vehicles were expected to enter from the Mysuru-Kannur road, the exit was towards the Mysuru-Mangaluru highway.
Ministers V Srinivas Prasad, H Anjaneya, Umashree, H S Mahadev Prasad, T B Jayachandra, former CM M Veerappa Moily, and MLAs K Venkatesh, M K Somasekhar and H P Manjunath visited the village along with Siddaramaiah. Urs’ eldest daughter and former minister Chandraprabha Urs could not attend the programmes due to health problems.