Tiong Kian Boom, an expert from International Commission on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), visited Hoysaleshwara temple in Halebid on Wednesday. The Hoysala structure is an aspirant for the tag of World Heritage Site, which is given by UNESCO. Mr. Boom went around the temple and studied the Hoysala architecture. He will submit a report to UNESCO.
For years, the Karnataka government has been making efforts to get the World Heritage Site tag for the Hoysala temples at Halebid, Belur and Somanathapura. A dossier and management plan was submitted by the Department of Archaeology Museums and Heritage.
Mr. Boom reached the temple at 12 p.m. from Bengaluru. Accompanied by senior officers of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), he visited the temple and the museum nearby. He discussed the boundary of the temple, structures within 100 metres of the temple, and those in the buffer zone of 300 metres from the structure.
Among those who briefed Mr Boom about the significance of the structure were Sudha Murty, chairperson of Karnataka Tourism Task Force, and Jahnwij Sharma, Additional Director General (Conservation and Scientific Preservation), ASI.
Ms. Murty told mediapersons, “We are hopeful that the expert will be impressed by the structures and will file a report which will help us get the tag. Once the structure gets the World Heritage Site tag, the place will attract a good number of tourists from different parts of the globe. If the number of tourists increases, the local community will also be benefited,” she said.
The expert will be visiting nearby Belur on September 15, and Somanathapura in Mysuru district on September 16.
Devaraju A., Commissioner of the Department of Archaeology Museums and Heritage, told mediapersons, “The Hoysala temples should have got the World Heritage Site tag long back. As of now, Hampi and Pattadakal in Karnataka are listed among World Heritage Sites.”
The official said that the tag would not disturb the local people settled around the structure. “The existing laws will remain in effect as they have been all these years. There will be no law that affects the local people,” he said.
Hassan Deputy Commissioner M.S. Archana and officials of the ASI and Tourism Department had turned up at the temple to welcome the UNESCO expert. The local panchayat had cleared away petty shops and vendors operating close to the temple entrance.