Creator of the ‘Rock Garden’ at Gotagodi, and Karnataka Bayalata Academy Chairman Thippanna B Solabakkanavar died due to age-related illness at a private hospital in Hubballi on Thursday. He was 73 years old.
He is survived by wife, son, and a daughter.
Recipient of Rajyotsava award, Solabakkanavar had made a mark for himself in setting up open parks with his moulding art in different parts of the state and beyond. The ‘Rock Garden’ at Gotagodi in Shiggaon taluk in Haveri district is considered his masterpiece, and attracts a large number of visitors from all over the country.
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, in his condolence message said, the state has suffered a big loss in the death of Solabakkanavar. He recalled having inaugurated a model traditional village at Jakkur in Bengaluru, conceived and developed by Solabakkanavar.
Born at Hulasogi in the taluk, Solabakkanavar completed his Art course at D V Halabavi Art School in Dharwad, and later Diploma in Fine Arts from Davangere Art School. In the initial days of his career, he worked as assistant art director for movies.
After serving as a lecturer at the Davangere College, he took voluntary retirement in 1990, and dedicated his life for promoting arts.
Solabakkanavar is also known for creating the famous Bharid Shahi Garden in Bidar, J P Park in Bengaluru, ‘Janapada Loka’ at Ramanagar, Gram Samskruthi Udhyan at Pune, Shalmala Park in Sirsi, Ballari Cultural Complex, Nature Camp at Dandeli, and many others.
An avid lover of Bayalata, a folk art of north Karnataka, he trained more than 3,000 artistes.