HAMPI: Multiple governmental agencies including the central Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and history students working with NGOs and the United Nations, look after the Hampi World Heritage Centre. But even today, eager tourists hit a wall of mismanagement soon as they venture away from the more popular monuments.
Basic needs like toilets and clean drinking water still elude hundreds of monuments in Hampi and Anegundi. Signages are poor and most of the information about the monuments, guides and other facilities are not provided to the tourists.
Some major monuments, under the management of the ASI, do have help desks and toilets. But move away from these to experience the lesser known structures and you are suddenly left looking around for a little assistance. Many visitors on their own, scale boulders and find new sites and document them, turning their history-themed vacation into an adventure-themed one.
During weekends, most of the roads leading to Hampi are packed with vehicles. Reminiscent of Bengaluru, finding parking space near monuments is also a major challenge which authorities till date failed to address.
Solid waste management has become another major concern. If these are the issues dogging the core of the world heritage site, illegal quarrying is posing a big threat to monuments and maintenance of the overall city.
Many small time quarry workers spend their day planning and executing bold plans where they tactfully steal stones and boulders, leaving authorities frustrated. Historians say such action is not possible without some help or information by the local populace.
“Tourists are fed wrong information on some monuments. We first need to document the Hampi area in a way that is easily accessible for the tourists,” said Muralikrishna Madikeri, a writer and history enthusiast from Koppal.