Replies: 4 - Last Post: Apr 14, 2013 11:58 AM Last Post By: ihave2pillows
Feb 26, 2013 11:25 PM
Hampi 2The residents of Hampi tried desperately to pick up the pieces after the first wave of destruction.
All that is left of my laundry wala shop, where he sold tourist clothes and took in laundry for his aged mother to do is the sign and a few bamboo polls. Residents along the main street pull down sun shades and makeshift porches under threat that the back end loader of jelabie will come back. No one knows for sure exactly how much clearing will be done in the monring. rumours run like wildfire through the community.
Owners of rooftop restuaruants have been told to tear them down. There is a jelabie parked outside the famous Mango Tree up the river from here where backpackers have lounged on couches overlooking the river for probably two decades. The family have surrounded it with makeshift beds and plan to sleep around it to try to keep if from destroying the restaurant in the night.
Last year when the government removed everything from the main bazaar they arrested 200 residents and destroyed their homes, busineses and lives while they were in jail.
My freind Ceclia, a western woman who owns the corner store mulls taking up my offer of putting all her stock in my room. It is on the ground floor and at the back of the hotel and probably safe. The owners of the hotel worked with sledgehammers until midnight to try to remove the rooftop restaurant to prevent the government from using a front end loader from doing it.
By the end of the day everything the residents think might be seen as encroaching on the street has been torn down. The makeshift restaurants and fruit, vegetable, jewelry and knickknack stands are gone. My barbershop is gone. Some with carts are able to just pack up and wheel them away, but to where.
A lamabani tribes woman sits on the ground in the wreckage of what was her jewelry shop picking up bits of broken mirror that she might be able to sew into the distinctive blouse fronts they wear, if she can find a place to sell it.
This is all part of a Unesco and government of India plan to make this all a pristine world heritage site. A tv crew that showed up here to cover the usually huge Hampi Festival, the one which is supposed to feature ten elephants and host thousands of people. It had been cancelled without notice or reason a few days ago. They ahve been interviewing a woman who is the head of the local village council.
Officials have been saying they are just widening the road so that and ambulance can get through. One local points out no one here has ever called an ambulance, the wait is to long an sick are always taken in by autorickshaw.
People eventauly, having done what they can to clean up the mess go off to bed wondering what tomorrow will bring…more bulldozers perhaps. Many seem to have been told or think that is it for now. Others say the whole town will soon be gone.
I corner the man in charge of all monuments and temples in India. her promises me to email the government's over all plan and vision for Hampi.
I try to go to bed while sledge hammers try to demolish the rooftop restaurant upstairs to comply with the government order that all second floor structures must go.
I sleep badly, thinking of my friends.
Feb 27, 2013 1:59 AM
1Its really bad for all of the people who have a livelihood there...but it is a world heritage site...The govt. Should have prevented the enchroachment and illegal buildings years ago before it began. Hampi is an amazing location and I can, in a way, understand that they want to clean it up. After all, shacks, shops and backpackers lounging on futons wouldnt be tolerated in, e.g. The Acropolis....The families making a living there came with the influx of crowds of backpackers looking for a cheap place to hang out...and for some to organize raves... Its inevitable that ithis couldnt continue at such a place. I was there in the mid 70's...no hotels, no travelleres,no shops, no restaurants..it was an obscure place that we found by accident...our guest house owner in Hospet asked us if we knew about the "ruined city" so we took a look.... Staying there was a question of picking a ruin to sleep in, washing at the well, and one family cooked for us.... again , its a shame for those who make a living there but the writing was on the wall...
Feb 27, 2013 3:49 AM
Mar 22, 2013 8:01 AM
Apr 14, 2013 11:58 AM
4I was there on the morning of 2013 Feb 26, when the 30 policemen and their bulldozer worked their way across the river to village of Virupapuragadda. They basically knocked down all the shop fronts, small restaurants and the peasants' front yards.
They said they had to "widen the road"... and one of the shop keepers said the government doesn't want "commercial activities" North of the river.
God knows what happens to the rest of Hampi... so sad!!!!
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