The 67th Kannada Rajyotsava is being celebrated across Karnataka on Tuesday to commemorate the state's formation day. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced a day ago that his government would observe the day in the most meaningful way. He also encouraged all residents to hoist the state flag and informed them that the prestigious 'Karnataka Ratna' award will be presented posthumously to Puneeth Rajkumar this year.

Here's all you need to know about Karnataka Rajyotsava:

The Rajyotsava is observed each year on November 1, when all Kannada-speaking regions of southwestern India were merged to form the state of Karnataka. The day is marked as a government holiday in the state. 

Karnataka Rajyotsava
Karnataka Rajyotsava dates back to 1 November 1956Twitter

History and significance:

The southern part of India was broadly administered by the Nizam of Hyderabad, the state of Mysuru and the Madras and Bombay Presidencies during the time of the country's independence. After independence, it was reorganized to facilitate administration. Six years later, on November 1, 1956, the Kannada-speaking regions were grouped into the state of Mysuru under the State Reorganisation Act. 

Influential figures like Aluru Venkata Rao K. Shivaram Karanth, Kuvempu, Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, A. N. Krishna Rao and B. M. Srikantaiah were key in this unification process. 

However, the state got its present name only on November 1, 1973, when the residents of North Karnataka opposed the name Mysuru as it represented the princely region. 


Schools, institutions, government offices and other associations celebrate the day by hoisting red and yellow Kannada flags and residents chanting the Kannada anthem ("Jaya Bharatha Jananiya Tanujate").

The Karnataka government also presents the Rajyotsava Awards, the second-highest Civilian Honour in the state, on this day in recognition of the contributions in fields like Arts, Literature, Culture, Education, Sports, Industry, Science, medicine, Public Affairs and Social service.

This year, the state will honour 67 personalities, including former ISRO Chairman K Sivan, actors Dattanna, Avinash and Sihi Kahi Chandru.

Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai
Karnataka CM Basavaraj BommaiIANS

In addition, Puneet Rajkumar will be awarded the Karnataka Ratna posthumously at Vidhana Soudha.

"The fans of Appu (as Puneeth was fondly called) and the Kannadigas must witness the presentation of this award. On the same day, Kannada Rajyotsava award will be erred on 67 personalities from various fields in recognition of their contribution to their respective fields, at Ravindra Kalakshethra," CM Bommai said on Monday.