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Threats Today

Today, Hampi is in the list of "Unesco World Heritage Sites in Danger". It was inscribed in the endangered list in the year 1999 following the proposal and construction of the controversial suspension bridge on river Tungabhadra. The heavy traffic on the road to this bridge led to dismantling and reconstruction of a mantapa within the borders of the site.

The government of Karnataka decided to destroy the bridge, taking a brunt of nearly one million US Dollars on its not so healthy coffers. The decision came after several meetings between Unesco officials and the state government and a stern warning from Unesco that it would deprive Hampi of its Word Heritage status unless corrective measures were taken.

With this episode, Hampi's dangers are far from over. Today, Hampi faces more dangers than ever. The dangers were known, loud and clear when the Deccan rulers were invading Vijayanagara. Today, nobody is hearing to the cry Hampi is giving out for help and protection.

Pressures of Urbanisation haven't spared this once divine abode of Gods. Only 58 of the 550 individual monuments at Hampi have been included in the conservation plan. Many historical villages, temples and mantapas, residencies and shops are not protected by the official agency. The most difficult challenge at Hampi is the establishment of a park service to control the vast site (about 400 acres). Every day, ancient site materials are removed for use in nearby construction projects. New roadways and buildings are illegally encroaching upon the marked site areas. Huts and shops can be seen inches close to and sometimes inside the sites of archaeological importance.

Deforestation, increase in vehicular and industrial pollution is causing a threat to the delicate creations at Hampi. The affect can be seen on the fading natural colouring used on the ceiling of Virupaksha Temple. These colouring were all natural extracts and were a great piece of art. More intensive land use by agriculture and industry and growing pressure from irresponsible tourism threaten the Vijayanagara's natural, cultural and archaeological environment. Pollution, looting, unregulated stone quarrying and the limited nature of existing monument protection hamper current conservation measures.

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