Karnataka

Portions of historic fort at Halebid demolished to lay a road

A road has been laid after damaging the historic fortification at Halebid, once the capital of Hoysala kingdom.

A road has been laid after damaging the historic fortification at Halebid, once the capital of Hoysala kingdom. | Photo Credit: PRAKASH HASSAN

The fortification around Halebid, once the capital of Hoysalas, has been damaged by residents.

The fortification around Halebid, once the capital of Hoysalas, has been damaged by residents. | Photo Credit: PRAKASH HASSAN

The historic fortification which stood for centuries at Halebidu, once the capital of Hoysalas, was demolished recently to lay a road. Many are shocked by this, particularly at a time when the place has been recommended for the World Heritage Site tag.

When The Hindu visited the spot recently, Madhu, a resident of the locality, said, “The fort wall was built with huge boulders and it remained strong though it was centuries old. This was demolished about 15 days ago”.

The fort-wall that was located in the survey number 501/3 of Halebid, has been replaced by a 20-ft wide road. Huge boulders lying around offer an idea of how the fort once stood. A residential layout is expected to come up close to the new road. It is said that the fort wall was demolished to help the realtors.

The Hoysala rulers had built the fort using granite boulders in the 11th century. It served as a protective wall for the capital township, which included temples, including Hoysaleshwara, Shantinath Basadi among other historic structures and monuments. Over the years, portions of the fort wall were damaged. However, the recent incidents have shocked those interested in conserving the historic structures. Besides the fort wall on Belur Road, another stretch close to the Jain Basadi had been damaged in the recent days.

“The lack of awareness among the local public on the importance of conserving the historic monuments and the carelessness of the officers concerned are the reasons for the repeated incidents of damaging the fort wall. Many have built structures in the protected area around the monuments”, pointed out a resident, who wished not to be named.

Halebidu, one of the main tourist attractions of the city, attracts hundreds of visitors at the weekend. For the past few years, the place has been on the tentative list of World Heritage sites. The Archaeological Survey of India has control over the monuments. The places around the monuments remain unprotected.

When The Hindu brought the issue of the fort wall being damaged to the notice of K. Goutham, Conservation Assistant of Hassan sub-circle of ASI, said the fort did not come under the jurisdiction of the department. “We are taking care of monuments. You can contact the Muzrai Department or the Archaeology Department of the State Government,” he said.

However, according to the locals, the senior officials of the Revenue Department were aware of the developments, but they hardly took action to protect the fort-wall.


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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 3:34:04 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/portions-of-historic-fort-at-halebid-demolished-to-lay-a-road/article65201521.ece