ByÂ Rini Sharma:
The famous ruins of Hampi in Karnataka, one of the UNESCO’s World Heritage site, is standing on the verge of extinction. In recent times, the structures in the vicinity of the 15th century monument have been facing serious damage from illegal quarrying and rampant blasting activities. As a result of which, a significant portion of the entrance tower of the Varha temple (also known as the Shiva temple) collapsed recently. Severe damage was caused to other three monuments as well.
These architectural marvels represent India and the fear of losing them has generated a pressing need for the protection of these monuments. According to the scholars, rampant quarrying and blasting accompanied by the rains have weakened the structures, leading in their damage.
Cracks have been seen on a few other important monuments in the complex as well. Monuments such as the Vijaya Vittala temple tower and the Kudure Gombe Matapa are among the ones which have developed cracks recently. Despite of the regulation to stop quarrying, its operation is still a continuous one, mainly in the surrounding villages of Venkatapura and Gudalkere Bukkasagera.
Another structure at Hampi- the Akka Thangi Gudda, known as the sister stones, also collapsed recently as the consequence of the illegal quarrying.
Steps are being taken to conserve this world heritage and the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) hopes to put an end to these illicit practices in the area. Previously, mobile squads were operated in these areas but were unable to stop the mining altogether.
Violations have become a common thing at the Hampi ruins. A private resort (under the name of a guest house) came up in the core zone of the site. The government of Karnataka should have taken strict action against the property owner but the course of action too went into ruins.
Government has been neglecting this issue for past many years. As a result of this negligence the Hampi is now on the verge of a total collapse, which has certainly become a matter of concern.
A huge sum is spent every year on the great Hampi festival to celebrate the vitality of the Hampi structures; instead this money should be used in restoring and conserving of the damaged ruins. For the sake of the great Indian heritage, the government of Karnataka should take strict action against the illegal mining, which is taking its toll on history at this point of time.
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