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ASI Forms Task Force To Save Hampi Ruins
June 18, 2011
ASI Forms Task Force To Save Hampi Ruins

This follows a BM report on the sudden collapse of Varaha Temple and the subsequent threat posed to the other temples of the world heritage site


18 June 2011

Niranjan Kaggere, Hampi:

The world-famous temples of Hampi are in danger of collapsing. Waking up to this threat, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has decided to take all necessary steps to safeguard the world heritage temples. Following the sudden collapse of Varaha Temple and the subsequent report by Bangalore Mirror in its edition dated June 15, 2010, the ASI has ordered the constitution of a task force to assess the damage and suggest remedial measures.

G S Narasimhan, superintending archaeologist, Bangalore Circle, in his communiqué issued on Thursday stated, “Under the emergent situation, a task force comprising senior archaeological officers and engineers has been constituted. They will visit the site immediately and suggest remedial measures as well as conservation measures, as far as the other temples are concerned.”

The officials also acknowledged that the damage suffered by the temple cannot solely be blamed on the mining/blasting acivities going on in the periphery of the Vijayanagara ruins. The archaeologists went on to explain that in the absence of a well-laid foundation, the Achyuta Raya Bazaar on the right bank of the river where the Varaha temple is located, is frequently affected adversely due to sub-soil erosion. "Anticipating the probable damage and after taking considerable precautionary measures, the ASI had already initiated restoration work on the temple. They were in the process of carefully dismantling the veneering slabs, when a portion of the brick masonry came crashing down due to heavy rains,” Narasimhan said.


Keeping in mind the restoration work which is in progress, ASI officials have requested the public to avoid visiting Hampi during the monsoons. “There are several such structures which are in precarious condition. They can collapse anytime, thanks to heavy rains. Therefore, people are requested to stay away from the ancient monuments and also avoid taking shelter inside them during heavy showers,” an official said.