History and Significance of Karnataka Foundation Day


The foundation day of any state is the day that celebrates the formation of the state. The southern state of Karnataka celebrates its foundation/formation day on November 1. Notably, the day also coincides with the formation of several other states such as Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.

In Karnataka, the foundation day is called Karnataka Rajyotsava Day, and the state’s official red and yellow flags adorn the streets, houses and official buildings to celebrate the foundation of the state. The day also marks the annual presentation of the Rajyotsava Awards which is the second-highest civilian honour in the state.

Instituted in 1966, the awards are given to people in the fields of agriculture, environment, education, journalism, judiciary, literature, medicine, music, sports, social service among others. This year, 66 eminent personalities will be conferred with award.

The state foundation day is a public holiday and day also sees the hoisting of the official Karnataka flag which is followed by an address by the Chief Minister and the Governor of the state.

Several community festivals, concerts, and a host of other events across the state mark the festivities. State flags adorn the streets and official buildings of the state to celebrate the Rajyotsava and also sees the chanting of ‘Jaya Bharatha Jananiya Tanujate,’ which is the state anthem of Karnataka.


The Karnataka Ekikarana movement was started by Aluru Venkata Rao back in 1905 and culminated with the Mysore State, which included the erstwhile princely state of Mysore, that resulted after merging the Kannada-speaking areas of Bombay and Madras presidencies as well as the principality of Hyderabad to create a unified Kannada-speaking state on November 1, 1956.

However, the state took its present name Karnataka, from the Kannada word ‘Karunadu’ meaning “lofty land” on November 1, 1973, during the tenure of Chief Minister Devaraj Arasu. He reorganised the state of Karnataka and recognised it as the foundation day of the state.

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