A shocking video, showing a band of miscreants vandalising the ruins of an ancient Indian site, purportedly in Hampi, has gone viral on the Internet. The miscreants in the video are seen pushing pillars of the ancient site, which many have claimed to be ruins of Hampi’s Vishnu temple.
“This is clearly Hampi. It is a temple of Vishnu behind the famous elephant stable and Lotus Mahal. The tourists need to be more responsible and monuments should be protected constantly,” said Racahaiah, a local.
ಈ ಜನಕ್ಕೆ ಯಾವಾಗ ಆದ್ರೂ ಬುದ್ದಿ ಬರುತ್ತೋ 😠😡 pic.twitter.com/sKLnWX26Wc
— ಶೋಕಿಲಾಲ (@Upadvyapi) February 1, 2019
#BIGNEWS: A few miscreants were caught on camera destroying the pillars of Vishnu temple at the @UNESCO world heritage site #Hampi. Activists have expressed anger against the cops and @ASIGoI pic.twitter.com/nDAP1mu70b
— NEWS9 (@NEWS9TWEETS) February 2, 2019
Rachaiah, a resident of Kamalapur, said: “A similar incident had happened in 2016, where a person damaged the pillars of Achyutha Raya Bazaar. But he was let off, terming him mentally-unsound. This should not happen again. The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) should take more drastic steps considering the popularity and heritage of Hampi.”
“The pillar I saw three days ago has now fallen to the ground. Other pillars are in the same condition. Where were these ASI representatives when the incident took place,” asked Sharanappa, a businessman at Kamalapura.
Meanwhile, Vijayanagara Smaraka Samskrithi Samrakshana Sene (VSSS), an orgnization aimed at preservation of Hampi, are planning to hold protests against the incident. “This is not the first time such incidents are happening in Hampi. In 2016, someone damaged pillars at Achyutha Raya Bazaar. The ASI itself demolished pillars at Virupaksha Bazaar,” said Vishwanath Malagi, convenor of VSSS.
The VSSS has lashed out at ASI, Hampi World Heritage Management Authority and other bodies responsible for protection of the historical sites at Hampi.
Responding to the entire incident, Kalimuthu, Deputy Superintending Archeologist of ASI’s Hampi Mini Circle, claimed that though the site seen in the video is Hampi but it is an old incident. “The incident took place in Hampi, but the video is not a recent one. It is an old incident and a complaint was registered with the police in this regard long back,” he said.
“The video has been posted recently to tarnish the image of the world heritage site as Hampi has recently achieved a unique distinction as the second must see place in the world this year.
This is indeed a handiwork of some mischief makers, who are jealous of Hampi. We will lodge a complaint against those who are behind it,” he further added.
A couple of weeks ago, the Times Magazine had listed Hampi World Heritage site as the second must see place in 2019. This had created a sense of pride among local people.