The ASI had denied permission to lay a cable car at Shravanabelagola stating that the vibrations would threaten the world-famous monument and the landscape.

Archaeologists and historians have expressed serious reservations about the ‘Hampi-by-sky’, a whirlwind helicopter joyride over historical Hampi that was conducted during the Hampi Utsav.

A senior archaeologist, who did not wish to be named, was concerned that the vibrations caused by the two choppers, hovering over the world heritage site continuously for about four days, that too, flying low over the ruins, would severely threaten the ancient monuments.

Vibrations

“Several senior archaeologists and historians, who had gathered at Hampi to attend a symposium on Vijayanagara history, on the second day of the Hampi Utsav, grew tense on hearing the whirr of the helicopter while it took sojourns throughout the day. In the event of an untoward incident, the priceless monuments, having universal value, would have been damaged. Such being the case, Hampi was taken for a ride by the Hampi-by-sky event,” he said, while speaking to The Hindu on Friday. Another senior archaeologist also took exception to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) turning a blind eye to the event. “I am at a loss to understand why the ASI is keeping quiet about this,” he bemoaned.

Citing instances, the archaeologist recalled that a couple of decades ago, the director-general of ASI was bold enough to deny permission for none other than the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to use a helicopter to offer flowers to Bahubali in Shravanabelagola during the Maha mastakabhisheka.

The ASI had also denied permission to lay a cable car at Shravanabelagola stating that the vibrations would threaten the world-famous monument and the landscape. When contacted, Nambirajan, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI Bangalore Circle, while stating that the ASI was not aware of the Hampi-by-sky event, endorsed the views of the archaeologist that there was a possibility of the fragile portions of the ancient monuments being threatened by the sound vibrations caused by the choppers.

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