Hampi Utsav called off due to drought

Hampi Utsav called off due to drought

The extravagant Hampi Utsav, an annual affair that showcases and celebrates the rich history of the UNESCO World Heritage site, has been put off due to drought.

“There’ll be no Hampi Utsav this year for lack of a suitable environment,” Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar told reporters Tuesday. “Last year, the festival was held at a cost of Rs 15 crore. This time, all taluks in the district are drought-hit,” he said. 

When it was pointed out that artistes were pressuring the government to hold the event, Shivakumar said: “They may want the festival, but we need time to make preparations. After a discussion with the chief minister, the festival has been put off.”

The festival is generally held over three days packed with music, dance, puppetry, fireworks to showcase the culture of the erstwhile Vijayanagar empire.

Karnataka has declared 100 taluks across 24 districts as drought-hit, and has estimated a loss of Rs 16,662 crore. The government has sought a financial assistance of Rs 2,434 crore from the Centre.