Madikeri, the must-go town on the tourist’s itinerary, will be a literature enthusiast’s destination for the next three days. The 80th All India Kannada Sahitya Sammelana is all set to begin at this hill station on Tuesday and the town is awash with the yellow and red colours of the Kannada flag.
Thousands of language aficionados have descended here, not bothering about the cold winter weather.
Hordes of volunteers are sweating it out for the success of the extravaganza. The literary conference is being held here after a gap of 32 years. Madikeri had hosted the 18th conference in 1932 and the 54th in 1982.
Writer Na D’Souza, who presides over the meet, will be brought in a procession to the dais named after writer Bharatisuta at the Field Marshal K M Cariappa College grounds in the town.
The venue has been named I M Muttanna Mahamantapa. Cutouts depicting Kodagu’s must-see tourist spots, with famous lines of well-known poets, adorn the main entrance to the venue.
The venue has a seating capacity of 20,000, including a thousand chairs for VIPs and special invitees. Giant LCD screens have been erected for the large gathering to watch the on-stage proceedings.
A second dais has come up at the auditorium in the adjacent college to host literary sessions and cultural programmes. The entrances to the eight roads leading to the main venue have been named after prominent personalities.
More than 400 stalls selling books and handicrafts have been set up beside the main venue. A total of 2,000 police personnel have been deployed to ensure the smooth conduct of the conference.
There will only be one-way traffic on the narrow roads of the town for the duration of the conference. KSRTC buses will ply passengers for free within the town during the event.
A total of 600 cooks will prepare the choicest of dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the delegates attending the meet. Food arrangements have been made at the Police Parade Grounds, one km from the venue.