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ASI Issues Notice to Karnataka Govt Over Alterations to Hampi Pillar

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has issued a notice to Karnataka’s endowment department for allegedly drilling a historical pillar at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi’s Virupaksha Temple. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah allegedly attended the recent Karnataka Rajyotsava function, when the drilling was done to tie a flag.

The ASI claimed that prior to drilling holes in historical pillars, the state government did not obtain any permissions. 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 AMASR Act (Amendment and Validation Act) 2010’s section 30 was broken, according to the ASI, which demanded an explanation from the government.

The Vijayanagara Empire’s capital city, Hampi, is home to a number of monuments, including the Virupaksha temple. The temple, one of the few in Hampi that escaped destruction at the hands of the Bahmani Sultanates and other invaders, is thought to have been constructed in the seventh century by the Vijayanagara king Deva Raya 2.

In 1986, the UNESCO designated Hampi as a World Heritage Site, and the ASI has been tasked with safeguarding the town’s historical treasures. In 2019, a bunch of miscreants were filmed demolishing historical pillars in Hampi, a video that went viral and irritated history enthusiasts. Later, everyone shown in the video was taken into custody.

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