With houses scattered few and far between, this small village has re-created a living memorial for late K Shivarama Karanth, Jnanpith award winner. Built on a sprawling estate, the Karanth theme park has come up as a monument, owing to the efforts of the residents of three villagesotathattu, Manur and Giliyaru, which once formed Kota Grama Panchayat.
It was here that Karanth wrote many of his books, including the award-winning Mookajjiya Kanasugalu. He also wrote a science encyclopedia for children and created the classical theatre form for the vibrant folk and performing art –Yakashagana, at Kota.
“The theme park is a work of the people of this cluster of villages. They are so closely knit that one cannot distinguish the three villages, as they appear as one. When it came to perpetuating the memories of Karanth, they were united to the hilt, as a result today we have this living monument for Karanth,” said Kota MLC, Srinivas Poojary, who was heading the managing committee of the theme park.
The theme park embodies the essence of Karanth’s vibrant work, spreading the spirit of his love for art, literature, dance, and science among the youth.
“Little children come here to play and use the library, which has more than 3,000 books of all subjects that were dear to Karanth. A few children are seriously pursuing Karanth’s way of thought, participating in the Yakshagana ballets, learning about environmental protection and theatre activities,” said B Meera, secretary and librarian of the theme park.
The park will organise painting, sculpture, terracotta and environmental workshops.
“The theme park in the future may have to expand the scope of learning Karanth’s work in the fields of environment and society. Perhaps shedding scientific light on his works should be taken up on priority, given the condition of denudation of forests and failure to grow compensatory forests”, Amrut Malla, Karanth’s long time associate said in conversation with dna.