Novelist Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa’s Cultural Centre in his birthplace at Hassan district
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Novelist Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa’s Cultural Centre in his birthplace at Hassan district

March 26, 2023

Foundation stone laid for Centre for Excellence in Art and Culture in Honour of Padma Bhushan Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa

Mysore/Mysuru: The foundation stone for the Centre for Excellence in Art and Culture in Honour of Padma Bhushan Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa was laid this morning at Santheshivara village in Hassan District, the birthplace of the legendary Kannada novelist Dr. Santheshivara Lingannaiah Bhyrappa.

The foundation stone was laid in the presence of Dr. Bhyrappa by Shravanabelagola (Channarayapatna) MLA C.N. Balakrishna, Deputy Commissioner Archana and other dignitaries.

In the 2020-2021 Budget, the then CM B.S. Yediyurappa had announced Rs. 5 crore for the improvement and promotion of art, literature and culture in Santheshivara in Channarayapatna Taluk through the Centre for Excellence in Art and Culture.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Bhyrappa said that he was happy that the Karnataka Government has recognised his contributions and is building this Centre which will promote classical art and literature among rural people.

“Though the project got delayed due to COVID-19 and other reasons, I am happy that the Government has released money now. The birthplace (Santheshivara) always gives me an emotional thrill. Though I got Padma Bhushan recently and it has given me some satisfaction, there is nothing like the honour coming from my own birthplace and I have been showered with love and affection by the villagers,” he said.

On the occasion, a lift irrigation project from the Nagamangala Branch Canal near Jabaghatta village was launched to fill 67.16 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) water to Santheshivara Lake, Agrahara Belaguli Ooramundinakere and Agrahara Belaguli Honnanakere. The project will benefit 14 villages including Dr. Bhyrappa’s birthplace.

Hassan DC M.S. Archana said that though Hassan is closer to Mysuru, it had not assumed prominence. With the Centre For Excellence in Art and Culture in Honour of Dr. Bhyrappa, the cultural activities will increase to benefit the entire Hassan a great deal, she opined.

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After the Budget announcement, the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the Centre was prepared and the proposal was sent to the State Government. Rs. 1 crore has been allotted and released for the project in the budget of 2022-23. The Department of Kannada and Culture is executing the project and Hassan Nirmithi Kendra is taking up the construction of the Centre.

The Art and Literature Centre would be developed as per the guidelines of the Government and Gowramma Memorial Trust suggested the architecture and rough design.

Assistant Director of the Department of Kannada and Culture in Hassan Dr. M.D. Sudarshan appreciated the concerted efforts of Gowramma Trust at Santheshivara and S.L. Bhyrappa Sahitya Pratishtana, Mysuru, in conceptualising and designing the project. Mysuru-based well-known engineer and architect M.S. Vijayashankar has designed the building.

Hon. Secretary of S. L. Bhyrappa Sahitya Pratishtana Prof. G.L. Shekar said that the proposed Centre would be a serene place for those interested in the pursuit of knowledge through their research and writing.

“It is a place to read, surf, research, learn and write,” he said. The integrated physical campus will have various infrastructure and facilities such as a conference hall, auditorium, library and resource centre, classrooms and gallery. It is also envisaged to provide a studio and transmission hub for online education.

Teaching Kannada to the poor and underprivileged in the village of Santheshivara and its surrounding areas would be a priority agenda, Prof. Shekar said.

According to the Kannada and Culture Department sources, the Centre for Excellence will have a gallery to display all the works, writings and books of Bhyrappa.

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This apart, there will be documentaries about the celebrated author and his works and movies based on his literary works. The Centre will house four guest rooms for those who want to stay and do research on his works. The built area of the Centre will be 120x 90 ft and will have ground plus two floors.

It is learnt that most of the land for the Centre is given by Dr. Bhyrappa himself and a small portion of it is donated by one Gangegowda of the same village.

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