Local devotees finally caught a glimpse of Lord Virupaksha at Hampi, two months after temples were closed to public during the lockdown. Tourists, however, will have to wait longer.
Sources from the Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority (HWHAMA) said that it was unlikely that the temple complex could be opened to tourists for the next three months while COVID 19 cases continue to rise.
“If you ask us, Hampi should not be opened for six months. But it depends on what the government decides. So far there has been no indication from the government to reopen Hampi’s monuments for tourism,” the official added.
Some monuments such as the Badavi Linga temple were open during the lockdown as daily rituals were being carried out. “But other monuments, including the stone chariot, and a group of monuments along the River Tungabhadra, will not be opened in the next few months,” an official said.
Officials pointed out that despite takeaways being permitted, restaurants around Hampi remained closed as there are no tourists. In the recent past, Hampi saw 4,000 tourists a month during the summer. Along with Mysuru and Gokarna, Hampi sees the highest number of foreign tourists in the state. Meanwhile, the Archaeological Survey Of India (ASI) has clarified that monuments in Hampi will not be sprayed with disinfectant.