Mandya / Malavalli: In spite of the river getting bone-dry and absence of gushing waterfalls, the two-day Jalapathotsava at Gaganachukki falls began in Malavalli Taluk of Mandya District yesterday.
Kannada Development Authority Chairman T.S. Nagabharana, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Venkatesh and MLA Dr. K. Annadani inaugurated the two-day event.
Thousands of visitors who had thronged to witness gushing waterfalls were surprised to see only a thin strip of water flowing at Gaganachukki Falls. The Gaganachukki Falls goes dry during this part of the year and only comes to life after heavy rainfall during rainy season. What provided some respite to curious visitors were the cultural programmes held on a huge stage, which was colourfully illuminated by gigantic LED lights in the backdrop.
As organisers had to wait for arrival of District In-charge Minister R. Ashoka, the cultural extravaganza began almost two hours behind the scheduled time. Cultural programmes including group dance by Shylaja and team, folk songs rendered by Impo Inchara Mattu Samajika Trust, Dance Drama by Dr. Shambhavi Swamy, Hindustani classical music, light music and dance programmes by Rotary School and Saptagiri English High School captivated the audience.
Later, Kannada Development Authority Chairman T.S. Nagabharana flagged off the folk dance rally held as part of the Jalapathotsava near Rama Mandir, Shivanasamudra. Nagabharana was welcomed with traditional Purna Kumbha by women folks. Nandi Kolu Kunita, Puja Kunita, Kolu Kunita, Huli Vesha, Yakshagana, Tamate Nrutya and other forms of folk dances entertained the visitors.
Impressive tableau followed the folk troupes, which depicted various facilities and services offered by Department of Social Welfare, Department of Horticulture, Dept. of Women and Child Welfare, Panchayat Raj, Department of Forest and others.
Heli-Tourism, which had been organised as part of the Jalapathotsava, was inaugurated by DC Dr. Venkatesh and MLA Annadani who took a helicopter ride.
Earlier in the day, the Dept. of Tourism had organised a Kite festival in which kites of bright colours, innovative designs and shapes adored the skies.
As part of the festival, ‘Ahara Mela’ and a ‘Job Mela’ have been organised on both days. Boating will be held in Malavalli Lake. Water sports, helicopter and coracle rides, bike rallies, rangoli competition and exhibitions are also being held to attract visitors.
District In-charge Minister R. Ashoka, DC Dr. Venkatesh, ZP CEO Yalakki Gowda, AC Suraj, Information Officer Harish and other officials were present.