Malkhed in Sedam taluk of Kalaburagi district was earlier know as Manyakheta and served as the capital of the Rashtrakutas dynasty
The first-ever Rashtrakuta Utsav to hail and celebrate the contributions of the Rashtrakuta dynasty to the social, political and cultural life of the land began at the historical Malkhed village in Sedam taluk, Kalaburagi district, on Sunday.
Malkhed, which was known as Manyakheta in the past, had served as the capital of the Rashtrakuta Kingdom that ruled large parts of southern India between 6th and 10th centuries.
Medical Education Minister and Kalaburagi in-charge Sharanprakash Patil, who also represents Sedam Assembly constituency under which Malkhed falls, and Padma Shri award-winner Ibrahim Sutara Mahalingapura flagged off the celebrations by beating traditional drums and inaugurating Kavirajamarga Mantap in memory of the first available Kannada epic Kavirajamarga inside the historical Malkhed Fort in the morning.
A colourful procession was taken out from the fort through the major streets of the village to the venue where public programmes were later held.
Hundreds of folk artistes from over a dozen cultural troupes performed throughout the procession. Performance of folk art forms such as Dollu Kunitha, Kolata, Somana Kunitha, Puja Kunitha, Garudi Bombe, Lambani Kunitha, Gondali Nruthya and Chilipili Bombe enthralled the people all along the procession route. Women performers playing traditional drums and performing traditional dances stole the show.
Jnanpith Award winner and Chairman of Kendra Sahithya Academy Chandrashekhar Kambar, who was supposed to inaugurate the stage events, did not turn up. In his absence, the events were flagged off by poet and playwright H.S. Shivaprakash. Many invited guests, including elected representatives and writers, were absent. Manyakhetada Rashtrakutaru, a book authored by history lecturer Shrishaila Biradar about the rule and contributions of the Rashtrakuta dynasty, was released.
Of the five deliberative sessions on various topics dealing with the different aspects of the rule of the Rashtrakutas and their contributions to the social, cultural and political life of the country, two were cancelled due to the absence of resources persons. The number of visitors to the sessions was also poor. A special lecture was delivered by Ibrahim Sutara Mahalingapura. In the evening, cultural programmes were held.