Karnataka Rajyotsava

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Karnataka Rajyotsava (Kannada Day)
Mahila Dollu Kunita.jpg
Traditional dance of Dollu Kunitha in progress as part of Rajyotsava
Also calledKannada Rajyotsava, Karnataka Formation Day
Observed byKannadigas in India and overseas[1]
SignificanceUnification of Kannada-speaking regions of South India as the state of Karnataka
CelebrationsHoisting of Kannada flag, Processions, Cultural events, Rajyotsava Awards[2]
Date1 November

Karnataka Rajyotsava or Kannada Rajyotsava or Kannada Day, also known as Karnataka Formation Day or Karnataka Day, is celebrated on 1 November of every year. This was the day in 1956 when all the Kannada language-speaking regions of South India were merged to form the state of Karnataka.[3]

The Rajyotsava day is listed as a government holiday in the state of Karnataka[4] and is celebrated by Kannadigas across the world.[1] It is marked by the announcement and presentation of the honours list for Rajyotsava Awards by the Government of Karnataka, hoisting of the official Karnataka flag with an address from the Chief Minister and Governor[5] of the state along with community festivals, orchestra, Kannada book releases and concerts.[6]


Aluru Venkata Rao was the first person who dreamt of unifying the State as early as 1905 with the Karnataka Ekikarana movement.[5] In 1950, India became republic and different provinces were formed in the country on basis of language spoken in the particular region and this gave birth to the state of Mysore including various places in south India, which were earlier ruled by the kings.[4] On 1 November 1956, Mysore state, comprising most of the area of the erstwhile princely state of Mysore, was merged with the Kannada-speaking areas of the Bombay and Madras presidencies, as also of the principality of Hyderabad, to create a unified Kannada-speaking sub-national entity. North Karnataka, Malnad (Canara) and old Mysore were thus the three regions of the newly formed Mysore state.[citation needed]

The newly unified state initially retained the name "Mysore", which was that of the erstwhile princely state which formed the core of the new entity.[7] But the people of North Karnataka did not favour the retention of the name Mysore, as it was closely associated with the erstwhile principality and the southern areas of the new state. In deference to this logic, the name of the state was changed to "Karnataka" on 1 November 1973. Devaraj Arasu was the Chief Minister of the state when this landmark decision was taken.[8] Other people credited for the unification of Karnataka include littérateurs like K. Shivaram Karanth, Kuvempu, Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, A. N. Krishna Rao and B. M. Srikantaiah.[5]

Celebrations of Karnataka Rajyotsava

The Kannada flag, used as an emblem of Kannada culture

Rajyotsava day is celebrated with great joy and vigour all over the state of Karnataka. The entire state wears a festive look on this day as the red and yellow Kannada flags are hoisted at different strategic locations across the state and the Kannada anthem ("Jaya Bharatha Jananiya Tanujate") is chanted.[9] The flag is hoisted at political party offices and several localities even as youth in many areas take out processions on their vehicles.[10] Religion not being a factor, the Rajyotsava is celebrated by Hindus, Muslims[11] and Christians as well.[12][13]

Government procession

The state government asserts Rajyotsava awards on this day, which are awarded to people responsible for great contributions in the development of Karnataka.[4] The Chief Minister of the State inaugurates the cultural show which is normally held at Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore.[10] Awards are presented to students who have won medals in various national games.[14]

The celebrations are marked by multicoloured tableaux carrying the picture of the Goddess Bhuvaneshwari mounted on a decorated vehicle.[15] The colourful procession is also accompanied by performances of the folk artists in the fields of drama (Bayalata), traditional dance (Dollu Kunitha, Kamsale, Veeragase, Kolata) and classical carnatic music.[4]

Private establishments

Auto rickshaws and other vehicles are decorated with yellow and red themes signifying the Kannada flag

Since 1 November is a public holiday, it is celebrated at commercial establishments in the following days of the week. Kannada flags are prominently hoisted and displayed at almost all office and business establishments across the city of Bengaluru.[10] Being a hub of several IT companies,[16] Bengaluru's major firms like TCS, IBM, Thomson Reuters, Wipro, Robert Bosch, SAP Labs,[17] Accenture, Alcatel-Lucent[18] and Infosys[19] encourage employees to showcase the local favour by holding cultural events. The IT crowd show their support by wearing Kannada-themed T-shirts to workplaces.[20] Educational institutions also hold such events at schools along with flag-hoisting and the rendering of naadageethe.[21][22]

Non-resident Kannadigas

Apart from celebrations in Karnataka, it is also observed in other regions of India with significant Kannadiga population like Mumbai, New Delhi,[23] Gurgaon[24] and Chennai.[25] Overseas Kannada organisations also take part in the festivities by arranging cultural events in countries like the United States,[26] the United Kingdom, Singapore,[27] Dubai,[28] Qatar,[29] Muscat,[30] South Korea,[31] Australia,[32] New Zealand,[33] Scotland,[34] Ireland,[35] The Netherlands[36] and Germany.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dubai: Karnataka Sangha Celebrates Karnataka Rajyotsava daijiworld.com
  2. Rajyotsava award list soars to 90 The Times of India 31 October 2008
  3. "Kannadigas celebrate Karnataka Rajyotsava on Nov 1" news.oneindia.in
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Festivals of India – Rajyotsava Day www.festivalsofindia.in
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Karnataka Governor greets people ahead of 'Rajyotsava Day' IBN Live
  6. ‘Sacrifice of Kannadigas should be remembered' The Hindu
  7. Karnataka – A brief profile » Kannada Rajyotsava
  8. Bourah, Maitreyee (2 November 2010) In the dark about Rajyotsava in Bangalore DNA
  9. Rajyotsava celebrations delayed The Times of India, 1 November 2007
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 The Hindu – Bangalore celebrates State's 55th birthday
  11. Muslim youth celebrate Kannada Rajyotsava in Tumkur Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  12. Bangalore: Rajyotsava Celebrations at St Francis Xavier Cathedral www.daijiworld.com
  13. Christians celebrate Rajyotsava The Hindu 3 November 2005
  14. 53rd Kannada Rajyotsava celebrations The Hindu 2 November 2008
  15. Minister Ramdas hoists Kannada flag on Karnataka Rajyotsava The Hindu
  16. Information Technology in Karnataka www.karnataka.com
  17. SAP Labsನಲ್ಲಿ ನಾಡ ಹಬ್ಬ Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ಅಲ್ಕಟೆಲ್ ಲ್ಯೂಸೆಂಟ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ನಾಡಹಬ್ಬ kannada.oneindia.in
  19. Rajyotsava at Infosys The Hindu 29 November 2008
  20. On Rajyotsava, say ‘Kannada Baruthe’ Archived 28 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  21. Karnataka Rajyotsava at Gopalan International School schools.papyrusclubs.com
  22. Mohan Kumar, BN (2 November 2010) 55th Kannada Rajyotsava celebrations DNA
  23. Karnataka Rajyotsava celebrated in New Delhi Yahoo! 1 November 2010
  24. ಗುರ್‌ಗಾಂವ್‌ನಲ್ಲಿ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ರಾಜ್ಯೋತ್ಸವ ಆಚರಣೆ (in Kannada) kannada.oneindia.in
  25. Rajyotsava celebrations conducted in Chennai www.naavi.org
  26. ಸಿಯಾಟಲ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ದೀಪಾವಳಿ ಮತ್ತು ರಾಜ್ಯೋತ್ಸವ (in Kannada) kannada.oneindia.in
  27. ಸಿಂಗಪುರದಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡ ರಾಜ್ಯೋತ್ಸವದ ಸಿಂಗಾರ (in Kannada) kannada.oneindia.in
  28. "Kannada Koota UAE to Celebrate Kannada Rajyotsava on Nov 13" www.daijiworld.com
  29. Doha: Karnataka Sangha Qatar to Celebrate Rajyotsava Day www.daijiworld.com
  30. Gurukiran enthrals audience at Rajyotsava celebrations in Muscat www.coastaldigest.com
  31. ಕೊರಿಯ ಕನ್ನಡ ಕೂಟದ ಕನ್ನಡ ಕರೆಯೋಲೆ (in Kannada) kannada.oneindia.in
  32. ಅಡಿಲೇಡ್ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರ ಸಂಭ್ರಮದ ರಾಜ್ಯೋತ್ಸವ (in Kannada) kannada.oneindia.in
  33. ರಾಜ್ಯೋತ್ಸವ : ನ್ಯೂಜಿಲೆಂಡ್ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರಿಂದ ರಕ್ತದಾನ (in Kannada) kannada.oneindia.in
  34. ಸ್ಕಾಟ್ಲಂಡ್ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಸಂಘದ ಕನ್ನಡ ಡಿಂಡಿಮ (in Kannada) kannada.oneindia.in
  35. ಐರಿಶ್ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರ ಹಬ್ಬ 2010 (in Kannada) kannada.oneindia.in
  36. [1]

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