HUBBALLI: Six monuments at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hampi will now be managed and maintained by private institutes. An MoU in this regard was signed with three companies at the ongoing Paryatan Parv in New Delhi on Wednesday. These companies had placed bids a few months ago and the Ministry of Tourism has now given its nod for the upkeep for the monuments by private firms.
Under the Union government’s Adopt A Heritage Monument programme, three firms from Hampi will now be managing the six monuments — Lotus Mahal, Kodandarama Temple, Krishna Temple, Elephant Stable, Badavilinga Temple and Ugra Narasimha Temple.
The three firms — Orange County And Resorts, Hotel Malligi and Heritage Hotel — will share the monuments of Hampi for the upkeep. After Dalmia Bharat Group adopted the Red Fort in Delhi, several private groups have now come forward to adopt monuments across the country. Last year, about 10 iconic destinations, including the famous Ajanta caves in Maharashtra, Gandikota Fort in AP and Qutub Minar in Delhi were adopted.
“Its a new trend in India and Hampi now becomes the first destination in Karnataka to have monuments adopted in such large numbers. Last year, about 10 monuments in India, including the Hazara Rama temple in Hampi, were considered for adoption and the talks are still under progress. The firms, which will adopt the monuments, must ensure basic amenities like toilets, drinking water, signage, illuminations and Internet facility,” a senior Tourism Department official in Hospet said.
Hampi and surroundings have witnessed several vandalism cases in the recent past. “Tourist footfalls increase during the winter and summer months and it becomes impossible for agencies to monitor the crowd. The private companies, after partnering, can help the ASI and other agencies to ensure the monuments are protected in the right spirit,” the official added.