‘Disaster tourism’ picks up in Hampi

 Overflowing Tungabhadra river has inundated many monuments, which are attracting tourists 

Published: 20th August 2018 06:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th August 2018 06:17 AM   |  A+A-

Idols of deities Kodandarama, Lakshmana and Seetha inundated in the Tungabhadra river waters | Express

Express News Service

BALLARI: Many monuments at World Heritage Site Hampi have been waterlogged with rise in water level in the Tungabhadra river. But, this has not deterred the tourists from thronging Hampi. And, the visitors seem to be enjoying the “disaster tourism”.

People from within and outside the state are flocking to see the water-logged Hampi. This is the second time since July second week, Purandara Mantapa situated in the course of river Tungabhadra, is getting submerged.

Now, with increasing rainfall in the Western Ghats and gush of water from the Tungabhadra dam, many monuments have been inundated. The discharge of water from the dam is more than 1,50,000 cusecs which is the highest in recent years. “The highest water released from the dam earlier was 60,000 cusecs in 2008. Earlier this week, for the first time as much as 1,90,000 cusecs of water was released while on Sunday, 1,50,000 cusecs of water was released,” said an official of Tungabhadra Board.

As a result, water accumulation in Hampi has continued and some of the monuments like Kodandarama temple was submerged.“In 2008, water had reached the foothills of Kodandarama temple. But, this is the first time the deities have been inundated,” said Sharana Basayya, a native of Kamalapura.Devotees are thronging the temple and splashing the holy Tungabhadra river water on the idols. This is the way they are thanking the lord for giving them sufficient water.

The increasing water level is drawing tourists from far and near. When the local people, especially farmers, struggle to wade through water as four canals --Raya, Basava, Bella and Turtha-- constructed by Vijayanagara kings to irrigate the fields, are overflowing, the visitors were seen enjoying, posing in knee-deep water for photos or clicking selfies. Seethe Saragu, a place behind Yediru Basavanna where water dropping down from a rock, is one of the favourite spots of visitors.

Police alerted

As the number of tourists thronging the area is high during weekends, the district administration has directed Kamalapur and Hampi police to ensure that there is no untoward incident. “I have instructed the police to ensure that there are lifeguards in place and people do not venture into the danger zones,” Deputy Commissioner Ram Prasath Manohar told Express.  

flood after 2008

This is the first time in recent years, deities Kodanda Rama, Lakshmana and Seetha of Kodandarama temple are getting inundated in Tungabhadra river waters. Way back in 2008, the water had reached the foothills of Kodandarama temple.

No damage to monument

When many doubt about the safety of waterlogged monuments, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) sources said there is no need to worry about the safety of monuments as they are rock structures. “These monuments are at least 500-year-old. They have been safe all these years and will remain safe,” said an official.


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