Karnataka govt eyes Vokkaliga districts with tour talk

Karnataka govt eyes Vokkaliga districts with tour talk

Shivagange in Bengaluru Rural district.

Eyeing a foothold in five Vokkaliga-dominated districts around the Bengaluru region, the BJP-led state government has chanced upon a novel idea to accomplish its mission: Kempegowda tourism.

The state government has chalked out a grand plan for a mega tourism circuit, proposing to link and network medieval era forts, temples and water bodies built by Kempegowda, the founder of Bengaluru.

Named as the ‘Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Heritage Circuit’, the state government aims to bring together 46 different locations, spread across five districts, having footprints of Kempegowda and give it an identity.

The saffron party would be hoping that its magnanimity may be rewarded with a place in the hearts of Vokkaligas, who are traditionally supporters of the JD(S) and the Congress. 

Going by the plan submitted to the state government, Ramanagara district holds the key to the entire project, with 20 locations linked to the life and works of Kempegowda followed by Bengaluru Urban (13), Tumakuru (6) and Bengaluru Rural (5).

The adjoining Chikkaballapur is also on the heritage list, with two locations being the part of the circuit.

Confirming the development to DH, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Ashwath Narayan said the project would give the region a cultural identity at the global level.

“World over, Bengaluru has carved out a name for itself in the field of information technology. But the development of these places would reveal the other side of Bengaluru—its rich culture and history. Together, it will take the region to greater heights,” he said.

Out of the 46 locations, the state government has identified 10 spots with maximum tourist potential to develop them as a mega tourist circuit.

Elaborating further, Ashwath Narayan said these historic sites had been “neglected” over the years.

“By linking them together in the form of a circuit, we are conveying the actual importance of these places regionally. Our immediate challenge is to restore, develop and provide them with accessibility. All stakeholders will  be part of this project. The government is open to a public-private partnership as well,” he said.

The state government’s move to collectively develop the region under the banner of Kempegowda heritage site has created a buzz in political circles.

Sources in the BJP revealed that even though the project may not yield immediate political dividend, the party would make inroads into these districts that are currently dominated by the Congress and the JD(S).

The saffron party, while showing its might in North Karnataka districts, had failed to gain traction in South Karnataka, especially in the Vokkaliga heartland spread across Bengaluru region.

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