Hadinaaru residents hold an exhibition to showcase their village’s biodiversity to protest the land acquisition movement

Visitors to a photo exhibition highlighting the local biodiversity and heritage of Hadinaaru and surrounding villages in Nanjangud taluk of Mysuru district on Tuesday. | Photo credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A unique initiative including a photo exhibition to showcase the local biodiversity and cultural history of the region is underway at Hadinaaru village in Nanjangud taluk of Mysuru district.

This is to create opposition to the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) proposal to acquire 1,057 acres of land in and around Hadinaaru.

During jester

The temporary exhibition was set up to coincide with the jatre mahotsava temple of Bilikere Mahadeshwaraswami which attracts thousands of people from the area every year.

‘Nodi Banni Nammura’ (Come…see our village) is set on land near the temple and features dozens of photographs, posters and printed materials providing snapshots of the biodiversity and cultural heritage that villagers could lose if the land acquisition was authorized.

Kiran, one of the stakeholders opposed to KIADB’s proposed move, said the exhibit had a tremendous response and many locals were unaware of the local history, heritage and of diversity which they believe should be preserved.

The exhibit documents in detail the number of lakes, the mounds, the legends associated with them, and the folklore that has evolved and is now part of the local culture. Also, it contains a wealth of detail on the number of bird species that have been documented. Villagers are being asked to reflect on their future and the challenges they might face in the event of land acquisition and eviction, Kiran said.

Of hills and lakes

About the Hulimavu mound in the vicinity, the organizers were careful to point out that it is home to almost 450 species of trees and cited the details of Flora of Mysore, published by two scholars from Mysore University in 1981.

Another nearby hill is Nittegudda and the exhibit highlights that black-naped hare, chital, jungle cat, Indian golden jackal, leopards and butterflies such as purple rose, blue gram and coster fawn have been documented. Efforts have been made to trace the history and legends associated with the Bilikere Mahadeshwaraswami Temple and the culture that developed around it.

Likewise, details of Lake Hadinaaru have been highlighted in addition to providing a snapshot of the biodiversity it hosts. The lake hosts nearly 145 species of birds, including migratory birds from different parts of the world which have been highlighted as ”our guests from Mongolia and Russia” in reference to the bar-headed goose which flock to the lake every year during the winter.

More than 15,000 people visited the exhibition which will end on Wednesday.

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