Ballari to lose Hampi and more

#GS1 #ART&CULTURE #HERITAGE

Decision on new district will cost Ballari financially and culturally

  • The State Cabinet’s decision to carve out Vijayanagara district from Ballari means the latter is set to lose out on several of its iconic associations.
  • Most importantly, the new Ballari district will no longer be on the world map of tourism as the historic Hampi, the capital the Vijayanagara empire, will be part of the new district. 
  • The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi, Karnataka’s crown of cultural heritage situated on the bank of river Tungabhadra that attracts thousands of history and culture enthusiasts from across the globe every year, will soon be part Vijayanagara district. 
  • It is a loss of not just cultural image, but also tourism revenue for Ballari.
  • Ballari will also lose the Tungabhadra reservoir, a major irrigation project and tourist destination in the State.

Politics and mining

  • The old district will no longer have a large chunk of the mining area
  • For reasons good and bad, mining, especially iron ore mining, has been a part and parcel of Ballari district. 
  • It has played an important role in the State’s politics too, transforming the very nature of Karnataka’s political landscape on more than one occasion. 
  • Mining activity is mainly concentrated almost equally in Sandur and Hosapete taluks, and the latter will now be part of Vijayanagara district. 
  • Except for JSW, one of India’s steel giants located in Toranagallu, near Ballari, all the other major mining-related industries such as BMM Ispat Ltd. and Sandur Manganese and Iron Ore Ltd. (SMIORE) will now be part of Vijayanagara district.

The rice belt

  • Ballari is also set to lose in terms of its agricultural output and allied industries. 
  • Rice industries, at present concentrated in Kampli and Siruguppa taluks, are thriving on the superior Sona Masuri rice grown along the Tungabhadra irrigation belt in the district. 
  • This variety has great demand across not just India, but also different parts of the world. Now, Kampli will be part of Vijayanagara district.

HAMPI

  • Hampi or Hampe, also referred to as the Group of Monuments at Hampi, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in east-central Karnataka, India. 
  • It is a pilgrimage centre of the Hindu religion. Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century
  • Chronicles left by Persian and European travellers, particularly the Portuguese, say that Hampi was a prosperous, wealthy and grand city near the Tungabhadra River, with numerous temples, farms and trading markets
  • By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world's second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing, and probably India's richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal
  • The Vijayanagara Empire was defeated by a coalition of Muslim sultanates; its capital was conquered, pillaged and destroyed by sultanate armies in 1565, after which Hampi remained in ruins.
  • Located in Karnataka near the modern-era city of Hosapete, Hampi's ruins are spread over 4,100 hectares (16 sq mi) and it has been described by UNESCO as an "austere, grandiose site" of more than 1,600 surviving remains of the last great Hindu kingdom in South India that includes “forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, water structures and others”.
  • Hampi predates the Vijayanagara Empire; there is evidence of Ashokan epigraphy, and it is mentioned in the Ramayana and the Puranas of Hinduism as Pampaa Devi Tirtha Kshetra. 
  • Hampi continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple, an active Adi Shankara-linked monastery and various monuments belonging to the old city.
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