Video shows Hampi’s UNESCO world heritage site being wrecked by vandals

In an incident caught on camera, three men have been recorded vandalising a pillar in Hampi, a UNESCO world heritage site in Karnataka.

In the video, the men can be seen pushing a pillar until it falls to the ground and breaks into two. Four other similarly destroyed pillars can also be seen in the video, but it is unclear if those too were destroyed by the same men.

The video has been posted multiple times on social media, garnering angry reactions. As news of the vandalism spread, people in Hampi and Kamalapur, including members of the Save Hampi Samiti, staged a demonstration condemning the incident and criticised officials for not initiating steps to protect the monuments of Hampi. Traffic movement between Kamalapur and Kampli was disrupted for over an hour as protesters blocked the road.

According to a report, superintendent of Bellary Police Arun Rangarajan visited the site of the incident on Saturday and said that an investigation has been launched to nab the culprits.

This is not the first time such an act of vandalism has occurred at Hampi. Two years ago, a Shivalinga, located amid the rocks in the Tungabhadra river, was damaged. The upper portion of the Shivalinga was cut in two. In 2012, the Gaali Gopura, a tower near the Malyavanta temple on the eastern side of Hampi, was razed by treasure hunters. There have also been incidents of defacement of the embossed sculptures of gods and goddesses.