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Karnataka Flag with a map of the state in the middle

Celebrated on November 1 every year, Karnataka Rajyotsava or Kannada Rajyotsava is a day of great pomp and show across the state. In 1956, the Kannada state was formed when India was divided into states based on language.

Rajyotsava is the day when Karnataka is coloured red and yellow, according to the colours of the state flag. Cultural performances are held all over the state, and it is a state holiday. Except for grocery stores and essentials, other units are closed. Those who choose to stay open decorate their shops or workplaces with the traditional map or flag.


On this day, the Chief Minister of State presents Rajyotsava awards to civilians who have contributed to the state. The Rajyotsava Prashasti is the highest state honour that can be conferred on a person. Important book releases, concerts, and speeches happen on this occasion.

Although officially celebrated on the first of the month, Rajyotsava is celebrated all through November. Celebrations at Belagavi, Karnataka Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Initially, the Mysore State was the only Kannada speaking state that was officially recognised. Other parts of the present-day Karnataka were part of the Madras and Bombay Presidencies. In 1956, all regions that spoke Kannada were unified under one flag and were referred to collectively as Mysore. But since this name already bore significance to its former history, the name was changed to Karnataka, which it remains to this day.

Although officially celebrated on the first of the month, Rajyotsava is celebrated all through November. Educational institutions, offices, IT hubs, and other places conducts performances, cultural concerts, and activities to celebrate the occasion. Irrespective of religion, all Kannadigas celebrate the day with great pride. The Kannada anthem Jaya Bharata Jananiya Thanujate is sung with patriotic fervour. Songs by Kannada singers ringing with zest are played in autos, cabs, and public places, among them the most famous are those sung by the famous actor, Rajkumar.

Keywords: November, Karnataka, Rajyotsava, Kannada, State Formation


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