A year on, Jilla Ranga Mandira still a dream in Udupi

The land earmarked for the construction of Jilla Ranga Mandira at Adi Udupi.

The foundation for Jilla Ranga Mandira in Udupi was laid on November 30, 2018. The work, however, has not commenced even after 10 months.

Land measuring 1.37 acres was reserved at Adi Udupi for the construction of the Ranga Mandira by the district administration, while the state government had released Rs 50 lakh for the construction way back in 2011.

According to Kannada and Culture department officials, the PWD has been asked to submit an estimate and blue print of the proposed Ranga Mandira. A meeting with deputy commissioner will be convened shortly to discuss on the work.

Though Udupi is rich culturally be it Yakshagana, Talamaddale, Bharathanatyam, classical music and theatre activities, the district headquarter lacked a Ranga Mandira so far.

The theatre activists and public have been demanding Jilla Ranga Mandira for the last two decades.

There are over 25 theatre groups that are active in Brahmavar, Byndoor, Kundapura, Hebri and Udupi. There is no full-fledged Ranga Mandira for staging play by these theatre groups. As a result, these theatre groups have to depend on auditoriums of schools and colleges for staging play. “It is an expensive affair to stage a play by availing all the required lights, sound system, chairs for rent. The district Ranga Mandira should provide all the facilities under one roof,” said theatre personality Pradeep Chandra.

A majority of the threatre-related programmes are staged at Muddanna Mantapa and Noothana Ravindra Mantapa of MGM College in Udupi.

“If a Ranga Mandira is constructed, then it will help in the growth of all forms of art. It will make theatre activities to thrive in the district,” said Rathabeedi Geleyaru team’s Muralidhar Upadhya.

He said, “Along with the development of the district, the rich culture of the land should also be conserved.”

There is no shortage of theatre lovers in Udupi district. There is lack of a space to stage play in the district. There is a need to construct a Ranga Mandira in the heart of the city, said another theatre activist.

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