Bangalore: Thousands of mourners on Saturday paid their last respects to Jnanpith award winner and Kannada literary icon UR Ananthamurthy, who passed away yesterday.
The mortal remains of Ananthamurthy were kept for public homage at the premises of Ravindra Kalakshetra as the state observed a three-day state mourning.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, his ministerial colleagues, Union Ministers Ananth Kumar and D V Sadananda Gowda, Kannada writers and leaders of all parties filed past the body of Ananthamurthy, a literary genius and vocal public intellectual who often courted controversies.
Literary and film figures like Girish Karnad, M S Satyu, Girish Kasaravalli, Nagabharana and K S Nissar Ahmed also paid their last respects to the departed towering literary figure.
Last rites for Ananthamurthy will be performed later in the day at Kalagrama inside Bangalore University premises. His last rites will be performed according to Hindu rites, officials said.
Hindu, Muslim and Christian prayers were conducted at Ravindra Kalakshetra for Ananthamurthy, who was known for his strong secular beliefs and dared to question fundamentalism, particularly majoritarianism.
Government has declared holiday today for its offices and educational institutions.
Ananthamurthy, known for his pathbreaking works in Kannada literary world, died of multiple health complications at a private hospital here yesterday, 10 days after he was admitted for fever and infection.