Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, many destinations across the state are deserted and have fewer visitors compared to previous years. Hence the state government has decided to launch a detailed virtual tour with 360-degree photographs of monuments, temples and other sites besides drone videos. Work has already begun in Hampi were photographing and videographing of monuments is underway.
“A meeting was held between tourism and ASI officials last week and accordingly it has been decided to showcase the heritage of Karnataka through the internet. High-quality equipment is being used in documenting the monuments and work has been taken up in Hampi already. Similar documentation of monuments will be done across Karnataka. To begin with, we are documenting the sites which are under the central ASI,” a senior tourism official told The New Indian Express.
In the next phase, the tourism department is planning to bring out a virtual tour of famous waterfalls of Karnataka. “We have projects like a virtual tour of Western Ghats and cascades of Karnataka. But they are still in the initial stage. At present, we shall concentrate on bringing a virtual tour of famous monuments like Hampi, Gol Gumbaz, temples of Belur and Halebid and other monuments which are protected by the ASI,” the official explained.
Hampi already had many of its monuments documented in 3D a few years ago. “But for the new project of virtual tourism, we will once again be documenting the monuments. The videos and pictures are getting ready and awaiting clearance from the administration. These documents also act as protective measures and we shall come to know if there is any damage to the monuments. One can never get the same feeling of visiting Hampi by seeing monuments on the internet. But it will pique the curiosity of tourists,” said an official from the Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority (HAWAMA).