Karnataka government gets ASI notice for ‘making holes’ in historical pillar at Hampi
Karnataka's endowment dept drilled historical pillar at Hampi's Virupaksha Temple without permission, ASI alleges
The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has issued a notice on Karnataka’s endowment department for allegedly drilling a historical pillar at Hampi’s Virupaksha Temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The drilling was reportedly done to tie a flag during the recent Karnataka Rajyotsava event which was attended by chief minister Siddaramaiah.
The ASI alleged that the state government did not seek any permissions before making holes in historical pillars. In a notice to the endowment officer in-charge, the ASI said, “Sri. Virupaksha Temple and Complex is a centrally protected monument maintained by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Archaeological survey of India, Hampi Circle through Hampi Sub Circle, Kamalapur. The office has noticed that, you have closed the actual Northern exit of the Viurpaksha Temple Garbhagruha by barricading at the steps and a separate way was done for the devotees as such your office has not taken any permission to close the exit and also your office has fixed the M.S hollow pipes in between pillars by making holes and inserting the iron piece in the decorative pillars.”
The ASI called it a violation of section 30 of AMASR Act (Amendment and Validation Act) 2010 and asked for an explanation from the department.
The Virupaksha temple is part of a group of monuments in Hampi, which was the capital city during the Vijayanagara Empire. Historians believe that the temple was built in the 7th Century by Vijayanagara King Deva Raya 2 and is one of the few monuments in Hampi which was not destroyed by Bahmani Sultanates and other invaders.
The UNESCO declared Hampi as a World Heritage Site in 1986, while the ASI has been protecting various monuments in the historical town. In 2019, a viral video had irked the history enthusiasts where a group of miscreants were seen destroying historical pillars in Hampi. All the people in the video were arrested later.