Malkhed to come alive in March through 'Rashtrakuta Utsav'

In a bid to reintroduce the past glory of the Rashtrakuta dynasty to the present generation, the state government has decided to organise the 'Rashtrakuta Utsav' in the first week of March this year. To start with, the Utsav will be a two-day event with academic and cultural activities, showcasing the rich history and the contributions of the empire, especially to the Kannada language.

The Utsav will be hosted in Malkhed (previously known as Manyaketa), said to be the capital of the dynasty when it rose to power in South India.

Malkhed, which is about 35 km from Kalaburagi city, is located in Sedam taluk, Kalaburagi district. With a population of less than 20,000, the village today is home to the Malkhed fort and some Jain temples.

Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Patil, who is an MLA from Sedam, told DH that a decision to conduct the Utsav was taken as there was need to shift focus back on the dynasty, given that one of the earliest works available in Kannada - Kavirajamarga, was from the period.

While the Kannada and Culture department will take care of the cultural activities, the Central University of Karnataka (CUK) and the Gulbarga University, will put together the academic activities, said Patil. The minister also said that efforts were being made to develop Malkhed into a tourism destination.

"During the preliminary meeting held recently in Bengaluru, it was decided to set up a museum-cum-library in Malkhed. Several inscriptions, manuscripts, sculptures and other antiquities belonging to the dynasty are found scattered in various museums today. The idea is to bring them all under one roof. The CUK has also proposed to set up a library to help curate the available literary works on the Rashtrakutas," he said.

Patil said that he had sought the Kannada and Culture department and the Hyderabad Karnataka Region Development Board to set aside some funds for this project.

Prof Mohammed Nazrul Bari, department of History, CUK said that the the varsity has proposed to organise an international conference with an aim of bringing together historians and scholars from across the country and the globe.

"Scores of researchers and scholars from various countries have published works on Hyderabad Karnataka. They come to India and spend several months in the North Karnataka. It's however ironical that we as Indians have completely neglected the glories of our past. It's important the we get emotionally attached to our heritage," he said.

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