Tourists can no longer get too close to the iconic stone chariot in front of the Vijaya Vittala Temple in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hampi. The architectural marvel has been cordoned off by a protective ring by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has placed wooden barricades around the famous stone chariot at Vijaya Vittala Temple Complex in Hampi for protection.
There have been several instances where tourists got too close to these monuments, with some going as far as touching them. To avoid the monument from getting damaged, the ASI placed the barricades around the heritage structure that was built in the 16th century.
Besides the Stone Chariot, several other monuments in Hampi, including Ugra Narasimha and Saasive Kalu Ganesha, will be cordoned off in the next phase. In the past two years, Hampi has witnessed several incidents of vandalism, according to officials here. Officials from the ASI, Hampi circle, said that there were several complaints regarding unruly tourists getting too close to protected monuments.
“Many times, tourists quarrel with security personnel over taking photographs by sitting or leaning on heritage structures. The idea is to minimise human intervention and preserve these structures for the future,” the official said.
The official added that those who cross the barricades will be fined as per the rules. “The Central ASI had cleared the project to barricade important monuments in Hampi about six months ago. But due to the lockdown the work began only recently,” the official added.
Local guides and photographers have welcomed the move.
“Though the barricades obstruct the view of monuments it’s a necessary step. Tourists do not listen to the guards and get close to the monuments. The barricades will keep the important monuments safe”said a local photographer.