Puneeth Rajkumar to be conferred Karnataka Rathna

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CM makes announcement after inaugurating flower show at Lalbagh, which resumed after two years

CM makes announcement after inaugurating flower show at Lalbagh, which resumed after two years

Thousands of floral enthusiasts gathered at Lalbagh Botanical Garden on Friday as the Independence Day flower show was inaugurated, making a comeback after two pandemic-hit years. From first-time visitors to staunch annual visitors, all spent time observing the rare and exotic flowers on display. However, the floral sculptures and statues of late actors Rajkumar and Puneeth Rajkumar were the centre of attraction at the show.

Inaugurating the event, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced that the State’s highest civilian honour, ‘Karnataka Rathna’ will be conferred on Puneeth Rajkumar posthumously, on November 1, Kannada Rajyotsava.

“A small committee will be formed to make preparations for the award-presentation ceremony. Members of Dr. Rajkumar’s family will also be included as members of the committee. We all together will present the award posthumously to Puneeth in a highly dignified manner,” he said.

He also said the celebration of 75 years of Independence has made the flower show even more attractive and that it will attract lakhs of visitors over the course of the next few days.

For many, the statue of Puneeth Rajkumar with his parents became a selfie spot while for others the statue depicting a scene from Rajkumar’s movie Mayura, was the favourite. The visitors also hummed along to various tunes from the two actors’ movies which were played during the show. Many fans also expressed their love and compassion towards the late actors by painting portraits of them.

Rare variants of Orchids, Coleus, and Anthurium caught the eyes of many visitors on the first day. “I have been attending this biannual festival since 2009. During the pandemic years, I was eagerly waiting for the flower show to return. The music, the ambience and the flowers make the garden look like a paradise,” said Ramesh Dutt, a retired English professor at the show.

An international visitor from France, Antony De Sojanar, a retired military officer, said, “It’s my first time in Bengaluru, but I had not seen such colourful flowers even in Europe. I am also excited about the other activities which, I am informed, will be happening in the following days, like Bonsai and the Dutch flower shows. So, I’m really looking forward to it.”

Members of Dr. Rajkumar’s family, including Shiva Rajkumar, Raghavendra Rajkumar and Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar were present during the inauguration of the flower show.

(With inputs from Leesha K. Nair and Shuvam Roy)

Watch | Bengaluru blooms

Glimpses from the annual Independence Day flower show at the Lalbagh Glass house organised as part of the 75th Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations in Bengaluru. This year’s flower show is a zero waste event and pays a floral tribute to Kannada actors Dr Rajkumar and Dr Puneeth Rajkumar. It will be open to the public till August 15, 2022.
| Video Credit: MURALI KUMAR K | The Hindu

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