Badagu Yakshotsava begins on a grand note

Portraying a successful character of Bhishma from epic Mahabharata through ‘Bhishma Vijaya’ Yakshagana, a two-day Yakshagana festival ‘Badagu Yakshotsava’ began in the city on Wednesday. The Yakshagana explored the unique style of traditional performing art of the coastal region of Karnataka and enthralled the packed audience.

The Badagu Yakshotsava was organised by city-based Bantara Sangha in association with Bantara Sangha Mysuru Charitable Trust at Maharaja College Centenary Auditorium. Artistes from Guruprasaditha Yakshagana Mandali of Saligrama presented the mesmerising performance.

Industrialist Dr M Jagannath Shenoy inaugurated the festival and Bantara Sangha president T Prabhakar Shetty and Managing trustee of Bantara Sangha Mysuru Charitable Trust K Ganesh Narayana Hegde were present.

As part of the event, Yakshagana ‘Veera Babruvahana’ will be presented at 5.30 pm on Thursday. Entree is free for all.

Inaugurating the event, Dr Jagannath Shenoy asserted that there was a need to conduct a series of cultural festivals to extend and protect the traditional culture of the coastal region. “While youths are attracted towards modern culture, ignoring tradition, we the senior citizens have to show extra concern to culturally educate our children. Apart from protecting our native culture, we need to adopt local culture,” he said.

Recalling the contributions of Maharajas of Mysore to protect Yakshagana, he said that the Maharajas had a passion for Yakshagana and Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar had invited Yakshagana artistes way back in 1913 from coastal and l region of Karnataka and had announced grants and showed special interest to protect this art form, he said.

Speaking at the event, K Ganesh Narayana Hegde recalled his childhood days where he was impressed by Bhishma Vijaya in 1976-77 at the Saligrama festival. “All the characters portrayed in Bhishma Vijaya is essential to succeed in life. The character of Bhishma inspires youngsters to design their life better. Bantara Sangha is doing good work in promoting Yakshagana and is teaching the art form to youngsters irrespective of any caste, gender and religion.

Office bearers of Bantara Sangha requested the community members to contribute to community welfare and help completion of ‘Bantara Bhavana’ in Vijayanagar. The total construction cost is Rs 14 crore and Rs 9 crore had already spent and the association needed Rs 5 crores to complete the works.  The community hall is expected to be completed December 2016 and inaugurated in January 2017.

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