Many historical sites in famed Halebid cry out for attention

A view of a fort from the Hoysala period. Some portions of the fort have been damaged.

A view of a fort from the Hoysala period. Some portions of the fort have been damaged.   | Photo Credit: Prakash Hassan

Vast areas have remained unexplored and there have been encroachments also

While Halebid is a much-visited tourist spot, vast areas around the Hoysaleshwara and the Jain temples have remained unexplored.

Though a couple of temples, a fortification around the township and traces of an ancient water-management system are visible among the ruins, a lack of attention by the local administration has led to private constructions and cultivation in this archaeologically important locality.

As of now only the Hoysaleshwara Temple at Halebid, once the capital of the Hoysala kingdom, is popular, attracting hundreds of devotees from different places.

“If we excavate the ruins, we will get more details to study the people’s lifestyle during the Hoysala rule,” said Aravazhi P., an assistant archaeologist of Archaeological Survey of India.

He has been researching the Hoysala period out of his interest. The entire Halebid township existed within a fort, with temples and other buildings.

Fort remains

Even today, remains of the fort can be seen, though some entrances have been covered by overgrowth over the years. A stone duct, which is intact even today, connects the fort to the historical Dorasamudra tank.

“This duct is an outlet for the rainwater that collected in the township. Besides that, there are three ponds, one below the other, within the township. The design is such that the water flowing from the top is filtered by the time it reaches the bottom pond. We need to study all these things,” he said.

The village settlement around the Jain Temple (Basadi) is called Bastihalli. While walking in the agricultural fields there, one can easily find ruins of an old temple being neglected. Another historical temple, the Lakkada Veeranna Temple, has been demolished to build a new one.

“Going by the remnants of the temple seen, it must be a Jain temple,” said Mr. Aravazhi. The temple is now amidst maize fields.

The ASI has control over only the monuments in the town, while the rest of the area remains unprotected.

“Unless the local authorities become aware of the historical importance of the place, it is difficult to protect the area. Cultivation has been allowed and some concrete structures have also come up in the unexplored area. It is not right to blame the local people. The local administration has a role in protecting the area,” the officer said.

Encroaching upon the erstwhile palace area, a resident of the town is building a house. A portion of the outer structure of the palace grounds has been disturbed for the construction. The local officers of ASI have brought this to the notice of local panchayat and Revenue Officers. However, there has been no action to stop the work.

P. Kishore Kumar Reddy, Conservation Assistant of Hassan Sub-Circle (ASI), told The Hindu that the local officers had complained to the police about the encroachment.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 3:58:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/many-historical-sites-in-famed-halebid-cry-out-for-attention/article31828641.ece

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