State of Conservation (SOC)
Group of Monuments at Hampi
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee
Summary of previous deliberations:
Twenty-third session of the Committee – paragraph number – X.33.
New information: No official response has been received concerning the actions taken by the State Party to remove the threats facing the site since its inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger. A Joint ICOMOS-UNESCO Mission in February 2000 witnessed on-going construction of the large vehicular bridge and near-completion of the small footbridge over the Tungabhadra River. Following this Joint Mission, Corrective Measures were recommended to the State Government of Karnataka and the concerned Central Government authorities. The Corrective Measures consisted of the following four points:1. Removal of threats caused by the two bridges
1.1 Supply a safer transportation means between Anegundi and Hampi, and Virapapura Gada and Hampi, as an interim measure.
1.2 Carry out careful needs assessment studies of the local communities, site managers, local industries (agriculture, tourism, etc.) with regard to the necessity for transportation over the Tungabhadra River.
1.3 Carry out scientific impact assessment studies on the World Heritage site caused by such bridges.
1.4 Determine whether or not it is appropriate to construct (a) bridge(s) connecting Anegundi and Hampi, and Virapapura Gada and Hampi, after careful examination of points 1.2 and 1.3.
1.5 If Point 1.4 results in the confirmation of the need to construct either or both bridges, determine the appropriate scale (footbridge, vehicular bridge, etc.) of such (a) bridge(s).
1.6 Once Point 1.5 is decided, study alternative locations and designs for such (a) bridge(s), which do not impact negatively upon the World Heritage site (i.e. do not threaten the integrity and authenticity of the World Heritage site).
1.7 Until the needs assessment and impact assessment studies have been carried out and subsequent decisions have been taken, halt further construction of the large-scale vehicular bridge connecting Anegundi and Hampi, and suspend any further construction on the footbridge connecting Virapapura Gada and Hampi.
2. Removal of threats caused by dismantling and dislocating historic monuments within the World Heritage site
2.1 Restore the dislocated historic Mandapa at Anegundi to its original location, to ensure retention of the original morphology and authenticity of the ancient citadel of Anegundi.
2.2 Ensure that no further destruction, dismantling, relocation and defacement of historic monuments within the World Heritage site takes place, to preserve the original morphology and authenticity of site.
2.3 Implement existing cultural heritage legislation and policies.
3. Removal of threats caused by illegal encroachment within the World Heritage site
3.1 Undertake necessary legal action to remove illegal encroachment within the World Heritage site, particularly in the State Government protected areas surrounding Virupaksha Temple and the Hampi Bazaar Mandapas.
3.2 Prevent any further illegal encroachment within the World Heritage site.
3.3 Closely control building within the World Heritage site.
4. Removal of potential threats caused by ad-hoc development plans within the World Heritage site, including tourism development plans within Virapapura Gada.
4.1 Develop a comprehensive management and integrated development plan for the entire World Heritage site and its surrounding environment, in close-co-operation with UNESCO and ICOMOS.
4.2 In order to develop the plan referred to in point 4.1, establish a geographic information system, incorporating existing data and surveys collected by the relevant authorities or experts (e.g. Revenue Department, Department of Archaeology, Deputy Commissioner, ASI, international experts, etc.), appropriately advised by UNESCO and ICOMOS.
4.3 In order to implement the plan referred to in point 4.1, establish an appropriate legal and institutional framework, with sufficient authority on-site. Legal expertise and advice could be provided through assistance from UNESCO and ICOMOS.
4.4 The legal and institutional framework referred to in 4.3 should be supported and advised by an appropriate professional group with representatives of organizations or individuals active in the field of heritage conservation and management.
4.5 Following the gazette notification of 1988 issued by the State Government of Karnataka, the core areas composing the Hampi World Heritage site (Anegundi, Virapapura Gada, cemetery island, south, east and west borders of Hampi), and the buffer zones including the greater Vijayanagara / Hampi area should be demarcated.
4.6 Awareness raising activities involving all stakeholders (private landowners, tourism and local industries, etc.) and authorities (Public Works Department, Rural Development Department, District Commissioners of Koppal and Hospet, Grand Panchayats, Police, amongst others) concerned should be carried out. The World Heritage Education Programme should be incorporated into the existing education programme to the extent possible.
4.7 Implement the plan referred to in point 4.1.
At the time of preparation of this working document in early May 2000, information was received by the World Heritage Centre that construction was being accelerated to complete the vehicular bridge, and that the State Government had announced its intention to inaugurate the two bridges in August 2000.
With regard to the provision of international assistance to develop a comprehensive management plan which has been requested by the Committee, the World Heritage Centre, in consultation with the State Party, is organizing a mission by an international rural development expert and a cultural heritage management expert.
The Bureau, deeply concerned with the continued construction of the two bridges within the World Heritage site, requests the Indian authorities to implement the ICOMOS-UNESCO Recommended Corrective Measures to remove the threats facing the site, as identified by the World Heritage Committee at its twenty-third session. The Bureau requests the World Heritage Centre to continue to assist the State Party in developing a comprehensive management plan, in close co-operation with the authorities concerned. The Bureau requests the authorities to submit by 15 September 2000 a report on progress made in removing the threats facing the site, as well as on the implementation of the recommendations made by UNESCO-ICOMOS Mission in February 2000. The Bureau recommends that the Committee retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Requests Approved: 0
Total Amount Ap proved: 0USD
February 2000: joint UNESCO/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Construction of two suspension bridges
- Major increase in heavy goods traffic
- Dismantling and reconstruction of an important historic monument
- Serious problems in the implementation of cultural heritage policies and regulations
Current conservation issues
A sub-national workshop to take place on-site in Hampi (October 2000) on enhanced management of World Heritage sites in India was being organized by the World Heritage Centre at the time of the preparation of this working document. The World Heritage Centre will report at the Bureau session on findings concerning the state of conservation of the site and recent developments at Hampi undertaken by the Central and State Governments responsible for the site, which will be made available after this workshop in October 2000
Analysis and Conclusion
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Following the decision of the Committee to inscribe the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-third session, a UNESCO-ICOMOS Joint Reactive Monitoring Mission was undertaken in February 2000. The objectives of the mission were to hold discussions with the national and regional authorities concerned to remove the threats facing the site as identified by the Committee, and to provide technical assistance for the development of a comprehensive management plan. In spite of the information provided during the World Heritage Committee session that the construction of the two bridges within Hampi had halted, the mission witnessed continued construction and advancement of the works on the large-scale vehicular bridge as well as the footbridge. In view of the alarming situation on-site, the UNESCO-ICOMOS Joint Mission formulated a 4-Point Recommendation for Corrective Actions to remove the threats facing Hampi. These Recommended Actions were transmitted to the State Government of Karnataka and the Central Government of India, during and after the Joint Mission.
The Bureau was informed that since the site’s inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger in December 1999, the Chief Minister of the State Government of Karnataka had constituted a Task Force in mid-January 2000 to examine the conditions of Hampi and to suggest long-term measures to preserve this World Heritage site. The Task Force examined closely the state of conservation of Hampi, on-going infrastructural development works within the site, and the 4-Point Recommendation for Corrective Actions of the UNESCO-ICOMOS Joint Reactive Monitoring Mission. In May 2000, the Task Force recommended that the two intrusive bridges should be relocated away from the World Heritage site. This Recommendation of the Task Force was unanimously accepted by the Council of Cabinet Ministers of the State Government of Karnataka in May 2000. On 16 May 2000, the Chairperson of the Task Force informed the Director-General of UNESCO on this decision taken by the State, which had been received favourably by the general public in Karnataka as well as within India.
However, the Bureau was informed that the Centre had received information in mid-June 2000 that the construction of the two bridges had again resumed on 31 May 2000.
The Delegate of Zimbabwe requested clarification on the intention of the Indian authorities on whether or not they wished to delete the site from the World Heritage List. The World Heritage Centre informed the Bureau that during consultations undertaken between UNESCO and the national and regional authorities concerned, both authorities had indicated their wish to remove the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger as soon as the threats facing the site were mitigated. The Bureau was also informed that the Archaeological Survey of India, the Central Government Authority responsible for the site, had informed the Centre through the UNESCO New Delhi Office, of its intentions to organize a national World Heritage cultural site mangers’ workshop in Hampi in October 2000, to discuss the state of conservation of Indian World Heritage cultural sites and enhancing management of such sites, using Hampi as a case study.
The Observer of the United Kingdom requested clarification on the degree of irreversible damage caused to the site by the construction work and what actions could be taken to mitigate further threats to the site. The Bureau was informed by the Centre that there were historic structures, such as the mandapa near Anegundi Gate, which have been dismantled and reconstructed using a combination of original and new building material in a different location, which even if returned to their original location, would have lost a degree of authenticity. The negative visual impact of the bridges, dominating the extraordinary natural setting of the site, could be reversed and removed entirely if the State Government carried out its decision to relocate the bridges outside of the World Heritage site. The Centre underlined that the greatest potential threat facing the site today was the damage expected to be caused by the dramatic increase in vehicular traffic once the large-scale bridge connects the two existing roads within Anegundi and Hampi which already pass through or adjacent to historic monuments of World Heritage value.
The Observer of Germany, recalling the request of the Committee and ICOMOS to the State Party since 1986 that a comprehensive management and development plan be elaborated for Hampi, underlined that the negative impact caused by the current development activities could have been mitigated if a comprehensive management plan had been prepared. The Observer of the United Kingdom drew the attention of the Bureau to the lessons to be learnt from the case of Hampi, and stated the need for the State Party to inform the Committee of such major public works prior to their construction, in accordance with the Operational Guidelines.
The Bureau examined the additional information presented by the Secretariat concerning the state of conservation of Hampi. The Bureau commended the Task Force for Hampi of the State Government of Karnataka for its work that led to the decision taken on 16 May 2000 by the State Government to relocate the two bridges outside the World Heritage site. However, the Bureau, deeply concerned with the new reports on the resumed construction of the two bridges within the World Heritage site since 31 May 2000, requested the Indian Authorities to implement the ICOMOS-UNESCO Recommended Corrective Measures to remove the threats facing the site, as identified by the World Heritage Committee at its twenty-third session.
The Bureau, reiterating the Committee’s recommendation to the State Party at the time of the site’s inscription on the World Heritage List, requested the authorities concerned to develop a comprehensive management plan for the site. The Bureau requested the World Heritage Centre to continue to assist the State Party in developing this comprehensive management plan, in close co-operation with the authorities concerned and the advisory bodies. The Bureau requested the authorities to submit by 15 September 2000, a report on the progress made in (a) relocating the two intrusive bridges outside the World Heritage site; (b) removing the threats facing the site, (c) implementing the Recommendations made by the UNESCO-ICOMOS Mission in February 2000, and in (d) preparing a comprehensive management plan for the site.
The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The Observer of India expressed his appreciation to the Bureau and the World Heritage Committee for their interest in safeguarding this unique site of outstanding universal value, attesting to the rise and fall of the Vijayanagara Empire. He assured the Bureau that the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger is being taken seriously by the Central Government of India and the State Government of Karnataka. A high-level task force has been set up to examine the situation in Hampi. The Observer underlined that the recent decision taken by the State Government of Karnataka to relocate the two bridges outside the World Heritage site would be implemented and that the authorities concerned were committed to protecting the site, following the Recommendations of the World Heritage Committee.
Link to the decision
VIII.18 Group of Monuments of Hampi (India)
The Committee's attention was drawn to the state of conservation of the Group of Monuments of Hampi and the updated information concerning progress made by the State Party in removing the threats facing the site caused by the ad-hoc public works within the World Heritage protected areas. The Committee examined the findings and recommendations for corrective measures of the ICOMOS-UNESCO reactive monitoring (February 2000) requested by the Committee at its twenty-third session. It noted with appreciation the successful work of the Karnataka State Government's Task Force for Hampi that examined the ICOMOS-UNESCO mission recommendations leading to the State Government's decision to demolish and relocate the two bridges that were negatively impacting upon the site. The Committee noted that the Task Force Chairperson had informed the Director-General of UNESCO that the decision by the State Government had been received favourably by the general public in India. The Committee also examined the deliberations and decision of the Bureau at its twentyfourth session in June 2000, as well as the resolution concerning Hampi adopted by the participants of the UNESCO-Archaeological Survey of India National Workshop for Management of Indian World Cultural Heritage (22-24 October 2000).
The Observer of India expressed her Government's appreciation for the co-operation of the World Heritage Committee and the World Heritage Centre for the actions taken to enhance conservation and management of this site. She informed the Committee that the Indian Government was taking all necessary actions to ensure the conservation and development of this unique and vast site. The Observer stated that the construction of the two bridges was halted, not withstanding repeated news that work to complete the bridges had resumed. The Observer informed the Committee that the State Government of Karnakata decided to dismantle and relocate the footbridge connecting the Virupaksha Temple and the Virapapura Gada Island. Reference was also made to other actions such as removal of illegal encroachment and preparation of a comprehensive management plan, being taken by the District Commissioner of Bellary. The relevant State authorities were committed to ensure the protection of the integrity and authenticity of the site. The Committee was informed that the Chief Minister of the State Government of Karnataka had recently announced his commitment to protect the World Heritage areas of Hampi, and that a careful study of the vehicular bridge would be undertaken, with a view to maintaining a balance between the needs to protect the heritage values and those of the local community members who had been demanding the construction of these bridges and therefore had strong views on the matter. The Observer underlined the importance of fully involving the local communities in the process of elaborating the comprehensive management plan.
The Committee expressed its appreciation for the positive actions and measures taken by the State Party to ensure the conservation of the World Heritage values of the Group of Monuments of Hampi. The Committee requested State Party to submit for examination by the Bureau at its twenty-fifth session, a report on the progress made in:
(a) relocating the two intrusive bridges outside the World Heritage site;
(b) implementing the 4-point recommendations for corrective measures of the UNESCO-ICOMOS mission in February 2000;
(c) preparing a comprehensive management plan for the site.
In addition, the Committee requested the Government of India to examine the possibilities of establishing a special administrative body empowered to ensure integrated development and conservation of the whole World Heritage protected areas, whose primary objective would be to co-ordinate various development and cultural and natural heritage conservation activities within the protected areas of Hampi World Heritage site. The Committee requested the World Heritage Centre to continue closely co-operating with the State Party to ensure the development of a comprehensive management plan. The Committee decided to retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
TheCommittee may wish to examine the findings and recommendations of the Secretariat at the time of its session and take appropriate decision thereupon.
Group of Monuments at Hampi
- Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
- Ground transport infrastructure
- Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
- Management activities
- Management systems/ management plan
Inscription on the Danger List
Threats to the Site:
The inclusion of the Groups of Monuments at Hampi on the List of World Heritage in Danger was prompted by the construction of two suspension bridges which dominate the natural environment and threaten the World Heritage site's integrity. The construction of a road towards one of the bridges will result in a major increase in heavy goods traffic and has already resulted in the dismantling and reconstruction of an important historic monument - a mandapa (a pillared stone rest-house) within the borders of the site. This dislocation signifies serious problems in the implementation of cultural heritage policies and regulations.
The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).