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Hampi World Heritage Site

Landscape Study

Integrated Design
698, I Floor,
10 'A' main, 33rd Cross, 4 block,
Jayanagar, Bangalore 560 011 India
Tel: 00-91-80-413 01 588 / 266 31 398







- Explanations on the objectives and limitations of the study,

- Chronological development of the area

- Give an overall understanding of the historical development of the site

and how the landscape had influenced this development


- Identification of hills areas and quarrying activities happening

at the Hampi WHS and the potential threats for the site,
- Focus on the sacred centre and analysis in terms of relief,
elevation, slopes and water movements,
- Recommendations on watershed management

- Explain, as a pre-requisite, the terrain patterns of the area and the

current threats in terms of quarrying activities,
- Demonstrate the overall understanding of the terrain and water
movements by the Vijaynagar rulers,
- Highlight the importance of water movement and watershed
management to answer contemporary requirements and improve
agriculture management

- Improve Watershed Management,

- Use the Geographical Information
System for Landscape Management


- Identification of the main water features and focus on Vitthala

Temple and its domestic water supply,
- Performance of the irrigation system and its evolution after
the construction of the dam,
- Mapping of the 2009 flood occurence,
- Impacts of contemporary development along the river edge
and contemporary issues

- Demonstrate how the historical water features for both domestic and
irrigation purposes were connected through an ingenious network,
- Explain the change of the hydrological profile after the construction of
the Dam and the threats in terms of flood,
- Highlight the contemporary challenges to ensure the physical
preservation of water bodies, to maintain water resources and visual

- Maintain water bodies,

- Regulate development along the river


- Historical and contemporary cropping patterns and their

- Ecological and visual impacts of agriculture and its transition
with heritage and settlements,
- Socio-economic profile of farmers and traditional process of
- Recommendations to sustain agriculture and its compatibility
with heritage and settlements.

- Explain the existing cropping patterns and their impacts on landscape

as well as their connection with heritage and setllements,
- Highlight the the socio-economic status of the primary economy basis
of the area,
- Provide recommendations to ensure agriculture activities evolve
towards more sustainable practices,

- Make agriculture sustainable by

reducing the amount of pesticides and
chemical fertilisers,
- Ensure compatibility between agriculture
practices and heritage,
- Prevent scattered development among
agricultural areas


- Role of biodiversity and current threats in the Hampi region,

- Recommendations to preserve ecological sensitive area and
avoid the introduction of non-native species.

- Despite the lack of primary data availailable, it aims to underline the

role of biodiversity and the general threats faced,
- Propose recommendations to avoid the further destruction of
biodiversity in ecological sensitive areas,

- Preserve ecological sensitive areas like

the Virupapuggada Island and the river
- Preserve the site from non-native


- Preserve visual quality,

- Integrate landscape components in the
- Analysis of the physical organisation of some precincts
process of heritage preservation,
and focus on the Pattabhirama temple and its connections /
- Highlight how the historical physical and visual linkages can be
- Plan new development sympathic with
disjunctions with its surrounding,
disturbed by contemporary land use and development,
the environment,
- Visual quality and status of visual views around Hampi,
- Propose frameworks to ensure landscape components are assessed
- Locate resettlement projects from a
- Recommendations to articulate landscape characters with
and integrated in the process of heritage preservation and development, sustainable perspective,
heritage preservation, contemporary development and tourism - Underline the need to raise awareness on environmental challenges to - Structure edge and boundaries,
movement and raise awareness and avoid waste dumping in
ensure both local communities and visitors preserve environment.
- Plan and anticipate tourism movements,
the area.
- Preserve the area from waste dumping,
- Raise awareness on environment

Terrain &





Content of the chapter

Specific guidelines developed

in the chapter



Chapter 1
Topography and


Use the
System for

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

along river

and heritage agriculture

Chapter 4

Citizens /
Civil Society
and Town

(Bellary /



of Tourism
of Town and

Chapter 5
Spatial Organisation

Plan new
Plan and
the site
landscape development
components in coherence resettlement
non-native in heritage
with the
boundaries movements
species preservation environment

the area


Characteristics that define the landscape of Hampi
World Heritage Site impart the area its specific and very
unique nature. Interconnected components of both the
natural and the physical - including hydrology, geology,
topography, vegetation, hills and boulders areas,
water features, views and vistas, etc form an integral
part of the scenery which has influenced the historical
development of the site.
While large volumes of architectural and archaeological
documentation is available, a comprehensive and
consolidated study of the landscape components of Hampi
WHS are quite critically missing. Most of the scholarly and
professional work in the realm of landscape conservation in
the country has been done in and around individual historical
sites with distinct remains of past heritage; whether in the
form of palaces, churches, temples or even entire cities, but
invariably driven more by architectural rather than the natural
The real challenge of landscape documentation,
interpretation and analysis at Hampi is compounded
on several fronts; Hampi being an integral part of a living
landscape with villages, agricultural fields and pilgrimage
centers means that any intervention will not only have to
be faithful to the past but also remain equally sensitive to
contemporary demands. In addition, one has to contend with
the relatively new but increasignly important characteristic
that tourism has brought to the region.
The seemingly contradictory issues for preservation of the
physical environment, conservation of the cultural & visual
landscape, restoration of authentic setting of the site and
contemporary challenges need to be addressed in an
equitable and balanced manner.

Hampi World Heritage Site

In 1986, a group of 56 monuments were inscribed in the
UNESCO World Heritage list, which comes under the
protection of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the
remaining under the protection of the State Department of
Archaeology and Museum.

Hampi WHS now encompasses a total of 236

including core, buffer and peripheral zones, with a population
of 59,941 inhabitants (Census of India, 2001).
However, as a complex site covering a vast living territory
with much more than just monuments, the fact that only few
monuments in the citadel area of Hampi were designated
World Heritage or National Heritage without including the
natural and living setting has lead to serious site issues due
to the growing urbanization, unplanned development and
pressures from tourism.

Challenges of the Landscape Study

In this context, it becomes critical to develop an
understanding and interpretation of the larger context rather
than a monument-based conservation approach. Through
such a sensitive lens, the present study aims at preserving
not only the natural but also the living heritage of the site.
For the purposes of the landscape approach,the studied
area is constituted by the boundaries of the World Heritage
Site, while being cognizant of the natural systems that go
beyond administrative boundaries.
Purposes of the study
The study, documentation and anaylsis of landscape
characteristics provide an opportunity for a better
understanding of the historical development of the entire
heritage precinct.
The landscape study aims at :
- analysing the existing situation in terms of terrain,
hydrology, water resources, biodiversity, agricultural
practices, spatial organization and visual quality,
- establishing policy guidelines and measures for
preservation, maintenance of the cultural landscape.
For each section, larger analysis has been undertaken
at the World Heritage Site level followed by a zoom on a
specific area.

The landscape study has been conducted with its
own set of limitations - of both time and resources. It
assesses the main landscape forces that have shaped
the site and whose characteristics present specific
challenges in conjunction with the imperatives of
environment preservation, heritage conservation and
development needs. Due to the lack of primary data,
the following natural factors have been excluded from
the study (groundwater hydrology, climate, geology and
soil, fauna and flora patterns). The analysis of terrain
and watershed has been limited to the area where
contours lines were available.
The last section of the report suggest further research
with the intention of addressing the identified knowledge
gaps of the Vijayanagara Empire or issues related
to contemporary development issues which has not
attracted enough academic / policy attention.

Implementation process
Besides the assessment of the existing situation, the
landscape study should be considered as an essential
tool for long-term management of the area.
It is important to note that the landscape study is not a
statutory document but a sectoral analysis and as such
should be integrated and reflected in the revised Master
Plan and other statutory documents, so as to ensure
its legal recognition and thereby the implementation of
guidelines and measures.This is one way to ensure that
decisions made through planning process will minimize
the otherwise negative impacts on the landscape
characteristics of the region.
By integrating the conclusions of this study into the
revised Master Plan, landscape will no longer be
envisaged as a collection of random patterns but as an
inclusive field that physically and socially shapes the
site. It strongly implies the establishment of specific
guidelines to ensure a continuity between the past and
present landscapes, respecting the intrinsic qualities of
the site.

Protected Areas
Hampi WHS

Villages Boundaries
Hampi WHS

River Tungabhadra
Virupaksha Temple

Anjanadri Hill

Krishna Temple

View from Matanga Hill

Achyutapura Bazaar
Virupaksha Bazaar


Historical Development

Located in the State of Karnataka in southern India

about 350 kilometers north of Bangalore, Hampi World
Heritage Site rests on the banks of the Thungabadra river
and is spread over two administrative districts, Bellary and
Koppal. It is located 15 km from Hospet and 60 km from
The environment of Hampi is a complex theatre including
natural, cultural and social components. The sacred relation
of the site presents itself as an interface between natural
environment (the river and the hills that bear symbolic
relevance) and man-made vocabulary (both tangible and
intagible) which are expressed in both religious structures &
practices and historical settlement development.
While Hampi is mostly known as the capital of the Hindu
empire, Vijayanagara which ruled peninsular India during
14th to 16th century AD, the site also has a history dating
long before the Vijayanagara Empire, associated with the
Hindu mythological landscapes of Pampakshetra and
Kishkinda (the Monkey Kingdom of Ramayana), highly
revered and visited by Hindus from all over the country.

Hampi, capital of the Vijayanagara Period

Hampi was the 14th century capital city of the last great
Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagara, founded in 1336 by two
princes Hakka and Bukka. Hampi was known as an important
trading centre with rich markets. Merchants congregated
from all over the world selling their goods in exchange for
spices and cotton. The city was also an important destination
for pilgrims and poets; temples built in the hundreds stand in
evidence to its religious importance. During this period, the
city flourished and had a population of nearly 500.000 until
1565 before being devastated by invading armies.

In 1565, the city was pillaged over a period of six months

before being totally abandoned. Temples were destroyed
and markets plundered. At present, 80% of the site is in
ruins; still the subject of intense excavation and restoration.
The ruins of Hampi constitute a vast open museum of
history, architecture and religion. The uniqueness of the
site lies in the vast area of monument complexes, the
kingdoms long reign as an advanced society and its unique
architecture (classical Hindu for religious complexes and
mixed vocabulory for secular structures). The Hampi ruins
are packed with an abundance of giant temple complexes,
palaces, market streets, water structures and fortifications.
Contrary to the prevailing trends of the period, Vijayanagara
was not a uni-centered capital city. Rather, it is almost
an agglomeration of fairly independent smaller - but
nevertheless urban - cores, which by virtue of their
siting and relationships to the landscape constitute a
metropolis. It was intentionally developed as a multi-polar
urban settlement where each settlement (Pura) or town had
a centrality of its own. Each settlement was defined and
dominated by a temple complex dedicated to the presiding
deity and a large bazaar street axial to the temple. All
other components of the town i.e. housing, workspace and
markets were stretched along and behind the axial bazaar.
Such a planning principle is not merely a random order
thrust upon the city and the region but was born out of close
interaction with and as a response to the topography and the
regional landscape.
The built fabric of Hampi and its relation to the larger
landscape systems is an illuminating example of a bustling
metropolis in perfect sync with its immediate nature. Whether
it is the visual or the physical aspects, driven by resource
or function, each component of the built heritage of the
erstwhile capital city of the Vijayanagara Empire is carefully

modulated so as to cause the least conflict with the rhythms

of natural world.
While there is an immense volume of scholarship
devoted to the grandeur of ruins and the individual
monuments, little is understood of the citys nestled
relationship to the immediate landscape in terms of
resource networks. These networks one refers to are
specifically that of water and food production.
The notion of urban settlements as integral with the
larger landscape and regional systems is fast gaining
ground. Rather than the problem-solving approach
using traditional engineering practices, the accent
is increasingly focused on anticipation of solutions
derived from nature-based models. It is in this design
process that traditional wisdom is seen to play a key
role, having dealts with the same issues but with a
greater reliance on natural systems. These are proven
to be less energy-intensive, less stressful to the natural
environment and more robust to the vagaries of climate.
More importantly, such sustainable planning processes
ensure equitable access to resources across social
strata and across geographies spanning large time

Chronological development and citadel organisation

1. Generic land condition - 6th Century A.D.

2. Hemakuta Hills - 7th Century A.D.

3. Virupaksha Temple - 10th Century A.D.

The early developments of the region were around

the Manmatha tank and Hemakuta Hill, towards the
northern areas of the site during Chalukyan King
Vinayaditya (689-690 A.D.). Over the next six and
half centuries however, up to the period when the
city of Vijayanagara was established at the site in the
mid fourteenth century, the Pampa tirtha grew into
a ceremonial center of considerable complexity consisting of numerous works of monumental stone
architecture disposed in several distinct clusters along
the river.

Considering the setting in cultural and natural

environment of the capital, a transition from wild and
rocky ridges to flat and open plains has been observed.

Sacred center

When the city of Vijayanagara started flourishing in the

fourteenth century, it was primarily an unoccupied plain
towards the south of the old pilgrimage center that
was later restructured into the urban zone containing
the royal place, while the tirtha which already had an
existing fabric was transformed into the sacred zone of
the precinct.

This transition coincides with the different zones of the

city, separated from one another by both natural and
man-made features.
Three zones can be distinguished:
* The sacred center beside Tungabhadra,
* Urban core containing the royal center in the limited
level areas,
* Sub-urban centers in the plains beyond.


This center was considered sacred even before

establishment of the kingdom, as it witnessed intense
religious activity with several temples being erected
along the rockbed of the river and on limited portions of
level ground.
Most of the great 16th century temple precincts like
Virupaksha, Krishna and Vitthala are located in close
proximity to each other and form an integral part to this
To the south is the Hemakuta Hill and towards the
north of the Virupaksha temple, more than twenty small
shrines cluster around the Manmatha tank. Each temple
complex is in itself the nucleus of an urban quarter and
is often refered to as a city (pura), thus Krishnapura,

4. Royal Enclosure - 14th century

5. Krishna Temple - Early 15th Century A.D

Vittala Temple - Early 15th Century AD

Vitthala pura, etc, which were accompanied by a series

of subsidiaries structures like tanks, aqueducs, walls,
gateways, and residences. Each temple complex was
linked with substantial areas of land, including parts of
the irrigated valley.

Intermediate irrigated valley

Urban Core

To the south of the irrigated valley lies the urban core,

clearly identified by a complete ring of massive fortifications, broken only by strongly defended gateways. The
fortifications use the natural terrain in an ingenious manner, using the boulder and hills effectively. The walls enclose an area approximately elliptical in shape, running
along the tops of rocky ridges and traversing flat land at
the shortest possible distance between rocky outcrops.
The largest sacred complex is located on Malayavanta
hill rising within the urban core at its east end. The lower
valleys are now filed with accumulated soil.

South of the sacred center is a long valley running

southwest-northeast between parallel rocky ridges. The
rich cultivation facilitated by canals, raised above the
level of the valley on either side and cut into the rocks
or contained by stone walls. The wall extending across
the valley at its narrowest point, south of Matanga hill
appears to have been a dam associated with spillways,
canals, channels, etc.
A striking visual aspect of the urban structure of
Vijayanagara is the nearly unobstrusive nature of the
built component within the landscape. A key driver of
such a development is the integration of productive
landscape within the network of urban systems.


6. Achyutaraya Temple - Late 15th century

and early 16th century A.D.

In fact, it would be more correct to say the opposite

- that the urban systems are integrated with the
productive landscape - since it is these landscapes that
are accorded primacy within the larger development.
Careful analysis of the layers reveals a process through
which key components of the natural landscape such
as the hills, boulder formations, river fronts, etc are left
almost undisturbed. The fertile valleys with the best soil
cover are defined as productive landscape given over to
agriculture, sustained by a network of irrigation canals.
It is only the next level of prioritization that the urban
systems including bazaars, housing and other civic
structures are embedded within the remaining lands,
deemed as less productive spaces.


Rocky hillocks

Tungabhadra River


Detailed content - Landscape Characters

Section 1: Terrain and Hydrology


Section 4: Biodiversity


Hills Areas
Quarrying Activities
Zoom Sacred Centre: Relief and Watershed Analysis


Threats on existing biodiversity


Guidelines: Preserve ecological sensitive areas like islands


Guidelines: Improve Watershed Management


Guidelines: Preserve the site from non-native species


Guidelines: Use of GIS for landscape management


Section 5: Spatial Organisation


Section 2: Water Resources


Water Network
Zoom Vitthala Precint
Irrigation system and canal performance
Flood risk
Development along the river bank & contemporary challenges


Guidelines: Maintain water bodies


Guidelines: Regulate development along the river bank


Section 3: Agriculture


Historical agricultural patterns

Current agricultural patterns
Shaped landscape
Agricultural transition: edge and boundaries
Socio-economic profile


Guidelines: Make agriculture sustainable


Guidelines: Ensure compatibility between agriculture and heritage


Guidelines: Prevent scattered development from fragmenting agriculture


Historical spatial organisaiton of main precincts

Zoom: Pattabhirama Precinct


Guidelines: Preserve Visual Quality and long distance views


Guidelines: Integrate landscape characters in heritage preservation


Guidelines: Plan new development sympathic to environment


Guidelines: Locate resettlement projects from sustainable perspective


Guidelines: Structure edges and boundaries


Guidelines: Plan and anticipate tourism movements


Guidelines: Preserve the area from waste dumping


Guidelines: Raise awareness on landscape and environment


Recommendations for further research




Landscape Characteristics

The analysis of the landscape characteristics of the site

ranges from large-scale patterns and relationship to site
details and materials. The issues of terrain, hydrology,
water resources, agriculture, spatial organisation and
visual quality are successively assessed. It aims to
analyse how landscape characters have influenced
development historically, assess recent evolutions and
the challenges the site faces so as to enable definition
of appropriate guidelines and measures.

Definition & Purposes

Terrain & Hydrology
Understanding the relationship between natural
environment and historical development of Hampi requires
a detailed assessment of the relief characteristics of the
larger landscape.
The first section aims at highlighting the topographic
and hydrologic profile of the area. With this intention,
the hills have been mapped at the Hampi World
Heritage Area level to ensure their preservation from
non-compatible development. Also, quarries and
mining areas are identified and located to assess the
threats for the world heritage area in terms of land
degradation, pollution and negative impacts to the
larger landscape character.
So as to demonstrate the process and by focusing
on a smaller area, analysis of the contour lines allows
us to outline the relief and its characters (elevation,
slopes, edges, etc). Such an assessment and
understanding of the terrain is critical in interpretation
of both the natural and the man-made heritage of the
region so as to better define effective conservation
Based on topographic features, hydrologic analysis
studies the natural movement of water. Watershed
and catchments are mapped to better understand the
water flows and its distribution.
The Digital Terrain Model of the area and its
3-dimension views clearly reveal how the builders
of Vijayanagara worked in tandem with the larger
landscape systems to sustain the city with minimal
impact on the natural environment.


The great City of Bizenegalia is situated near very steep

mountains. The circumference of the city is sixty miles, its
walls are carried up to the mountains and enclose the valleys
at their foot, so that its extent is thereby increased. In this
city there are estimated to be ninety thousand men fit to bear
Nicolo di Conti,
Venetian merchant who visited Vijayanagara in A.D. 1420
(Sewell 1900:82)

Hills areas
The primary geographic phenomenon marking
peninsular India is the Deccan Plateau, deemed as one
of the most stable landmasses in the world and bound
by two mountain ranges the Western Ghats (also
known as Sahyadris) and the Eastern Ghats along its
western and
eastern edges respectively.

Management Plan)

The average elevation of Hampi is between 400 to 540

metres above mean sea level. The higher hills in the area are
recorded at 542 metres above MSL(Anjanadri Hill) and 515
metres above sea level (Matanga Hill).
The most spectacular physical and natural features of the
site are the rocky hillocks characterized by granite boulders
which are spread over the entire site.


Hampi is located right in the midst of this great plateau

towards the foothills of the Western Ghats and its
regional setting comprises of hill ranges some of which
are spurs of the Central Sahyadris, like the Sandur hill
range to the west and southwest of Hampi (Integrated

Besides their natural characters, Hills and boulder formations

should be considered as a larger canvas that includes both
natural (geological history) and man-made interventions
(temples, mandapas, caves). Protection measures should
hence address both natural and built heritage developed
within these areas.
As highlighted in the Hampi Master Plan, the rocky and hillock
areas have to be preserved as an outstanding natural landscape.
No development shall be allowed and this regulation shall be
strongly emphasized in all of development documents such as the
Hampi Master Plan, the Local Development Plans defined by the
Local Panchayats and the District Comprehensive Development
Plan defined by the District Planning Committees.

Nevertheless, external pressures such as tourism would

invariably generate undesirable encroachements or uses that
must be sustainably managed.
By way of illustration, it is difficult, indeed impossible, to
forbid tourists to walk through the hills. Rather, the pedestrian
(or trekking) path should be designed in a manner to limit
damages on natural environment while improving tourist
connectivity through the site. Guidelines have been defined
later in this document to ensure tourism movements are
anticipated and integrated.

Soil characters
The most prevalent soil in the area is reddish sandy loam
found on the banks of river Tungabhadra, while reddish brown
soil occurs at the fringes of hills due to the decomposition of
rocks. However black cotton soil also occurs in the area. The
black soils of the Tunghabadra region are 0.6 -1.2 metre deep,
heavy in texture with 45 to 50% clay and contain free calcium
carbonate throughout the profile. There is generally a zone of
salt concentration in the soil profile at a depth of 0.4 - 0.9 metre,
the principal salt being gypsum. Below the gypsum layer occurs
murrum which is practically impermeable to water.
When a land on a ridge is irrigated, the salt accumulates either
in the slope or in the valley. The salt consists largely of sulphate
which usually indicates that they arise from the gypsum layer of
the soil. As pointed out, the murrum below the gypsum layer
is impermeable so that the internal drainage of the soil is lateral
rather than vertically down within the profile.
(Gazetter-Bellary District)

The wild and beautiful granite formations illustrate a complex

erosional history in which exfoliation has played a crucial
role. The iron and manganese-rich granite formations
are coarse-grained and fairly homogeneous. This mature
topography is provided with a well established drainage
pattern which is dendritic in character (DJ. DavidsonJenkins). Hills are thus critical in defining and managing the
micro watersheds of the area as elaborated further in this
Unlike most of the mountain ranges, the boulder heaps of Hampi were not formed as a result of volcanic activity or of any uplift in the earths crust. The boulders were once part of gigantic
granite monoliths. Tens of millions (some even put it as a few billions) of years of weathering thanks to the natural forces (sun, rain, wind etc) made the surface of the monoliths crack, split and
eventually metamorphosed to its present forms. The pieces that lost balance in the process crumbled and formed the boulder heaps. The ones that managed to balance somehow remained in
some quasi-stable state, puzzling the spectators.
Malyavanta Hill
Hemakuta Hill


Source: GIS data issued from the HWHAMA technical unit

Hills Areas
Hampi WHS

Core Zone
Other Roads
District Road
State Highway


Quarrying Activities

A Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment of Mining

Operation in Bellary-Hospet Region conducted by National
Environmental Engineering Research Institute in 2002
revealed that due to vast deposits of good quality ore
available, mining activity in Bellary-Hospet region appears to
be a permanent feature.

The hills of the region around Hampi are rich in iron ore and
manganese and are now subject to intensive quarrying.
Some of these quarries are located well within the core zone
of the Hampi WHS (refer to the map). Environmental impacts
(water pollution, loss of biodiversity, air pollution, noise, etc)
due to these activities pose a major threat for the existing
natural landscape. Of special concern is the vibration from
these actitivites that poses a serious risk to the structural
stability of heritage structures.

A study conducted by Karnataka State Remote Sensing

Applications Centre in taluks of Bellary district, viz. Bellary,
Hospet and Sandur taluks (comprising 95% to 96% of the
total mine lease areas in the district), reveals that between
the years 1988 and 2000, the mining area has increased
from 230.42 ha to 820.46 ha (+ 256 %) .

Quarries happening in the hill opposite to

Hemakuta that compromise the visual quality
of the area

Damages on even a single part of natural environment

would compromise the whole area.It becomes
absolutely critical to monitor mining and quarrying
activities within the Hampi WHS and progressively
stop all of them especially within the core zone since
either visual or physical damage to the environment will
seriously compromise the authenticity of the site.

Since a ban on mining / quarrying would impact the

livelihood of workers, a training and capacity building
program should be designed to help the process of

Visual linkages to
Gejjala Mandapa
and Vitthala Bazaar

Extension of quarries
areas in the other side
of the road

Fig: View from Hemakuta Hill

Fig: Land degration due to intensive quarries

activities in Hampi WHS

Since most developmental activities in the region are

closely associated with mining and quarrying, potential
adverse impacts on the environment due to both mining
and developmental activities cannot be ignored. Intense
biotic pressure due to deforestation, dust pollution,
destruction of habitat and food, poor water quality, high
concentration of hardness, fluoride and cloride, high
concentration of suspended particulate are only some
of the more obvious issues facing the region.


Land degradation (see pictures below) is one of the

significant impacts arising out of mining and quarrying
activity, mainly in the form of alteration of land structure
due to excavation. There is also a distinct visual value
associated with every single hill range, whether seen in
fragments or in succession. Irreversible defacing of the hills
alters the visual quality of the area, compromising the site
and its integrity.

Fig: View from Malyavanta Hill: Quarries area which are increasing and that compromise the
visual linkages to Gejjala Mandapa and Vitthala Bazaar


Hampi WHS

Source: GIS data issued from the HWHAMA technical unit

Core Zone


Zoom: Relief Analysis

Digital Terrain Model - Achyutapura Precinct

Digital Terrain Model - Sacred Centre

Vitthala Precinct

Matanga Hill

Vitthala Precinct

Achyutapura Precinct

Achyutapura Precinct


Tungabhadra River
Elevation with graduate colors ramp
Krishnapura Temple

Digital Terrain Model - Vitthala Precinct

Matanga Hill

Contours lines edges

Face Slope with graduate colors ramp


Slope Analysis - Sacred Centre


Zoom: Watershed Analysis

Analysis of the watershed patterns reveals the immense
depth of understanding and engagement with the larger
landscape systems by the builders of Vijayanagara.
The critical point to note is the fact that the Vijayanagara
City did not use the river as a source for its domestic
water needs. Barring irrigation requirements, the river
remained mostly untouched as a source of domestic
water. This remains exceptional in a semi-arid
environment like the Hampi Region where the annual
rainfall is 560 mm spread over 40 days.
By understanding the topographic characters of the
area and following the natural drainage patterns, the
builders of Vijayanagara patterned and tailored the
urban cores to ensure long-term water security.
Latter day excavations and restoration of the water
tanks (pushkarani) which harvested and stored rain
water, clearly establishes the preceeding premise,
highlighting the Citadel-Urban Core-Natural Landscape
matrix. It is a clear demonstration of the virtues
of integral planning of cities based on ecological

Matanga Hill

Achyutapura Precinct

Interpretation of extant ruins, analysis of watershed,

mapping of pits, excavations and structures, digital
terrain models - all worked in tandem - reveals not
only an intricate understanding of natural systems
and flows but more importantly, the ability to use
these parameters in a manner that renders the
urban pattern conflictless and sustainable.
A related point that needs to be highlighted is the
fact that throughout the expanse of the capital
city, it is not standardized models and solutions
that determine urban patterns; rather, the patterns
are tailored specifically to the terrain with myraid
solutions for managing, harvesting and storing
For instance, while the Vitthalapura pushkarani
is exclusively fed by subsurface flows, the one at
Krishnapura is augmented by the discharge of
Hiriya Kaluve. While the pushkarani is the most
visible of the domestic water process, it is only one
element amongst many that contribute to complex,
yet benign and sustainable solution to the water
infrastructure of the city. These include contour
bunds, trenches, detention ponds, recharge pits,
open wells, swales, seasonal wetlands, etc.

Matanga Hill

Krishnapura Temple

Digital Terrain Model of Watershed in Krishnapura Precinct

Vitthala Temple

Pushkarani (water tank)


Vitthala Bazaar

Water tanks
Natural water movements

Digital Terrain Model of Watershed in Achyuatrara Precinct

Digital Terrain Model of Watershed in Vitthala Precinct


Watershed Analysis - Sacred Centre

Heritage Precincts
Water tanks
Contours lines


Improve Watershed Management

Context and Issues


The Hampi Region, a semi-arid zone, is characterized

by a dry climate with water scarcity. Following the
construction of Tungabhadra Dam, irrigation networks
have made water available throughout the year,
increasing the area under cultivation. However, the
supply of water can become critical due to barying
monsoon patterns and lack of proper management.

Watershed is a geo-hydrological unit of all land and

water within the confines of drainage divide which
contributes run-off to a common point. Its development
refers to the conservation regeneration and the
judicious use of all natural resources (land, water,
vegetation, fauna and humans) within the watershed

Declining water availability will threaten agricultural

productivity and worsen poverty and food insecurity

Watershed Management tries to bring about the best

possible balance in the environment between natural
resources on the one side and man and animals on the
other. (GoK - Watershed Development Department).

Two main water-related problems can be highlighted:

Intense rainfall during the monsoon and surface runoff leads to soil erosion and siltation or pollution of
water bodies downstream,
Extended drought cycles increase water stress and
impact livelihood and food security.
These issues need to be addressed in order to sustain
land productivity and prevent degradation of soil
and water. It becomes critical to improve watershed
management in order to mitigate adverse climate
effects on crops, human and livestock and to ensure a
sustainable use of natural resources.
A watershed can be defined as an area of land from
which all water drains to a common point, topography
being the key parameter. As a land area that captures
rainfall and conveys the overland flow and runoff to
an outlet, a watershed constitutes the most bacis
unit for management of water and soil resources for
conservation aimed at sustainable production.
Adapting conservation measures in the upper
watershed will have a positive impact in the lower
watershed. For instance, reducing erosion in the
upper reaches of the watershed also helps reduce
sedimentation of irrigation tanks in the lower reaches,
extending their productive capacity.

Watershed development projects are designed to

harmonise the use of water, soil, forest and pasture
resources in a way that conserve these resources while
raising agricultural productivity, both by conserving
moisture in the ground and increasing irrigation through
tank and aquifers based water harvesting.
It aims to improve land productivity while mitigating
resource degradation. Such program can be designed
to harmonise the use of water, soil and pasture
resources in a way that conserves these resources
while raising agricultural productivity. By optimising
moisture retention and reducing soil erosion, land
productivity is maximised and land degradation
controlled. Excess surface run-off water is harvested in
irrigation tanks (catchments ponds), while subsurface
runoff recharges groundwater aquifers.
Since it is man who is primarily responsible for
degradation of environment, regeneration and
conservation can only be possible by promoting
awareness and participation among the people who
inhabit and use the watersheds. Besides managing
natural resources, watershed development also
encompasses the notion of community participation,
equity, collaboration and coordination.


From Poverty to Plenty,
the village of Ralegan Siddhi
The region in which the village of Ralegan Siddhi in
Maharashtra was located was completely devastated
by the prolonged drought in the early 1970s. As most
of the farming in the region is rainfed, no rain meant no
work for farmers even as daily wage agricultural labour.
Degradation of the natural resource base resulted in
lack of fodder and loss of cattle. People lost faith in the
government beacuse the percolation tank built by the
concerned government department had failed to retain
An attempt to initiate water conservation measure
was initiated by an NGO but remained unsuccessful
because the village was divided by conflict due to social
and political affiliations, made worse by the rampant
The process of change was initiated by Anna Hazare
with a first step to eradicate alcoholism and unify the
village. He suggested that the villagers get together and
work towards getting the percolation tank repaired. The
villagers applied to the district authorities for additional
funding. The success of this venture restored faith in
villagerscapacities to help themselves.
Following the success of the percolation tank, farmers
decided to undetake watershed development and revive
the ecosystem through soil and water conservation
methods, pasture development and afforestation.
Four micro-watersheds have been regenerated , Local
committee have been set up to monitor and manage
each aspect of development, for management of
natural resources, as well as for social and educational
development. Collective decisions are taken for
management of water resources, the crops to be grown
and how the water is to be utilised.
Springs of life, Indias Water Resources

Digital Terrain Model - Irrigated Valley

Paani Yaatra
(Water Pilgrimage)
Neembi, a village in the district of Jaipur, Rajasthan was
praised for its outstanding management of rainwater and
water conservation at the World Summit on Sustainable
Development in Johannesburg in August 2002.
It all began when Rajendra Singh, the rainwater catcher
of India (Magsasay Award Winner) took the villagers on
a paani yaatra (water tour) to another village where the
villagers had built small traditional earthen check dams
called johads, which enabled re-charging of ground

The protection, conservation and management of the

alrger watershed in Hampi is of significant importance;
the historical development of the city of Vijayanagara is
closely linked to this structure. More importantly, it is a
critical tool in managing the resource demands of the
region in a sustainable and equitable manner.
Active integration of watershed related issues such
as catchment protection, storage enhancement,
stormwater management, valley and streambed
protection, aquifer recharge etc, will ensure long term
sustainability of the development.

Strategic initiatives rooted in larger environmental issues

will effectively reduce potential conflicts by addressing
development issues in a manner that integrates the
physical environment for its ecological services and not
be seen as an impediment.

Resources or Related Stakeholders

Watershed Development Department - Government of
Karnataka, Bellary and Koppal Districts (through their
watershed development program), Gram Panchayats


The villagers were so convinced that they took committed

steps to conserve water. It was basically self-help and
water management that changed the destiny of this desert
village. It is for the fourth year, Neembi has sufficient water
while the rest of the state and other parts of Northern India
are facing acute problems of water scarcity and drought.
Its wells and check dams are full of water and its farmers
are harvesting three crops a year from their lands. Now,
they have water not only for their human needs, but also
sufficient for agriculture and livestock.
Organised by the Centre for Science and Environment,
Paani yaatra is a journey trip to rediscover water. It is a trip
that takes the yatris to villages where local communities
have harvested rainwaterand used it wisely. And they
have succeeded in achieving a dramatic revival of local
ecology and economy. Paani yatra is all about getting to
know these individuals and organisation who are driven by
their innate zeal to gain Jal Swaraj (water self-reliance). It
is about taking an on-the-ground look at their successful


Drainage pattern - Irrigated Valley


Use the Geographical Information System for landscape management

Context and issues


Methodology used during the landscape study

Assuming that an integrated landscape approach to

development is implemented, a fair assessment of the
changing landscape remains an issue. For instance,
rapid land degradation due to quarrying and mining
is difficult, if not impossible, to assess. Lack of data
prevents public authorities from taking an objective and
judicious view of their natural heritage, thus limiting the
efficacy of policy and regulations measures.

The ecological and visual functions of landscape are

determined by processes that operate over a range
of scales in space and time. Knowledge of these
processes should be integrated into the tools to be
used in a comprehensive manner. The inventory and
evaluation of the current status of landscape and
natural components as well as the environmental
monitoring must be based on a dynamic informationsystem. It is critical that landscape analysis should now
be integrated as an inlcusive field of the Geographical
Information System.

For reference, the methodology employed during the

Landscape Study has encompassed the following

Static maps, drawings, pictures, etc are no more

sufficient in themselves to manage the complexity of
landscape characters and the manner in which they
have transformed over the years.
The Geographical Information System unit of the
Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority
constitutes an opportunity to manage landscape in a
dynamic manner and articulate natural issues with local
development and heritage preservation.
By articulating data-base systems and geographical
data, the Geographical Information System (G.I.S.)
software encompasses:

Gathering of Data,

Data Management,

Analysis and Evaluation of data,

Presentation of the analysisresults.
The GIS unit has currently gathered data related to land
use, heritage status, protection boundaries, cadastal
information, socio-economic profile, etc.
By integrating landscape characters within G.I.S., it
could provide an easily accessible platform for storing
and retrieving information on ownership, vegetation,
wildlife habitat, geology, topography, slopes, watershed
and drainage patterns. It presents a unique opportunity
for a more holistic understanding of the World Heritage

Resources or Related Stakeholders

ESRI Regional Office in Bangalore - NIIT GIS Limited
(Training and Support Centre for ArcGIS Software)

Following are some recommendations to increase the

performance of the GIS unit and ensure an optimal
integration of landscape characteristics.
Given the exceptional topography of the area, it is
crucial that the current G.I.S. software is provided with
a 3D extension. The acquisition of topographic data
will allow the HWHAMA to create Digital Terrain Models,
which is a digital representation of the actual surface on
Based on the Digital Terrain Model, analysis of
topography, slopes, drainages patterns, ridges, etc will
be possible at the HWHAMA level itself.
A watershed programme management is
recommended to ensure the optimal use of natural
resources while improving agricultural productivity.
The definition, implementation and monitoring of the
watershed programme management will be more
structured and easier through the GIS.
Future land use could be then defined considering
the natural characters of the area and avoid negative
impacts on the environment. For instance, the mapping
of the flooding area - as done during the flood 2009 will ensure that no development is allowed in the risk
Visual Impact Assessment: By projecting and
assessing changes in land use, development of
buildings and structures, etc, it allows management of
development in a manner that is in more sustainable
without violating the spirit of the region.

- Consolidation, from the different sources, of the

contours lines available in the area (DWG format) and
checking of their elevation reference.
- Conversion of the contours lines file in a compatible
GIS format (i.e. shape file),
- Geo-referencing of the new file by importing spatial
coordinates used in the area,
- Creation of a TIN (Triangulated Irregular Network)
which models the entire surface (GIS Software using
3D-Analyst in ArcMap or ArcScene),
- Wrapping of the satellite image by obaining the
heights from the TIN and creation of a Digital Model of
- Analysis and Interpretation of topographic characters
such as elevation, slopes, edges, etc.
- Analysis and interpretation, in parallel, of the
watershed patterns and water movements for the
identified area (Land Desktop-Autodesk),
- Integration of the water movements analysis in the GIS
Software and geo-referencing of the data,
- Consolidation of the water movements analysis with
the Digital Terrain Model.
The above explanations highlight the process
undertaken during the Landscape Study by using the
GIS Software ArcGis.
The analysis, interpretation and assessment of the
natural patterns (elevation, slopes, water movements,
etc) require the involvement of professional expertise as
well as field verification.

The process undertaken to generate a DIgital Terrain Model requires a highcomputerized capacity. It would be diffilcult to apply the same process for the entire
WHS as a whole. Rather, the creation of a TIN and the Digital Terrain Model should be
used to focus on specific areas.

In this perspective, it is important, before impletmenting it, to assess in which area this
process shall be undertaken, what are the existing issues, what are the data looked
for, how these data will be used, etc.

Digital Terrain Model

Contour lines





Example of analysis available with GIS tool and its 3D extension


Vitthala Bazaar

Pushkarani - Vitthala Temple

water reservoir associated to the temple complex

Ceremonial Pavilion


Definition & Purposes

Water Resources
Habitation in a semi-arid environment like the Hampi
HWA would not have been possible without the
development of a perennial source of water. The
present analysis which encompasses the issues of
availability, accessibility and sustainability constitutes
a critical step towards a better management of water
The main issues of concern in the area include the
conservation of existing water features by rejuvenating
and preserving traditional water bodies as well as
irrigation systems. Prevention of degradation and
depletion and enhancement of water availability
through rainwater management constitutes an
additional challenge.
From this perspective, location and contextual
importance of surface water features such as river,
lakes, reservoirs, canals, etc are identified. Traditional
water systems bear ample testimony to the excellent
engineering skills and geographical knowledge of the
builders of Vijayanagara. For instance, the analysis
of Vittala Precinct and its water systems clearly
demonstrates the ingenious networks implemented
over 500 years ago.
The study of irrigation systems, both ancient and
modern, forms a critical part of this section in order to
understand and articulate the pattern of contemporary
demands.Impacts of construction of the Tunghabadra
Dam on the hydrological profile of the area have been
included in the irrigation assessment.
Even though the area is characterised as a semiarid environment, it is also prone to floods. By
concentrating the analysis on the floods of 2007 and
2009, the issue of vulnerability has been examined so
as to better address and mitigate flood risk.

The water systems of the Hampi WHS is characterized

by a network of both natural features - such as river,
lakes, ponds, etc - and man-made structures such
as tanks, wells, canals, embankments, dams, water
gates and aqueducts. Several different strategies were
developed during the Vijayanagara period based on an
intimate knowledge of the natural characteristics of the
Rather than the problem-solving approach using
traditional engineering practices, the accent was
increasingly focused on anticipation of solutions derived
from nature-based models.
While this study does not aim to provide an exhaustive
analysis of the Vijayanagar Water Systems, it is however
critical to interpret and understand these ingenious
systems to better handle contemporary demands.
Indeed, the larger quest should be that of appropriate
articulation of traditional knowledge systems in meeting
contemporary needs.

It is useful to state that several water supply

mechanisms continue to use systems developed during
the Vijayanagar Period. The development of postmedieval and modern technologies has for instance
increased the efficiency of the water supply system
without making these traditional systems obsolete.
Thus, both the traditional and modern features play an
important role to shape the landscape as well as the
hydrological profile of the area.
Given the current pressures of increasing rates
of urbanization and decreasing access to critical
resources like water, specifically in the context of the
sub-continent, an approach that can address these
issues differently and more effectively than present day
planning practices is needed.

Example of the Water Canals developed during the Vijayanagar Period connecting different sources of water
Queens Bath

Queens Bath

Laxmi Narasimha

Finally, as the overall challenge is to meet

contemporary requirements without compromising
the integrity and authenticity of the site, the impacts
of contemporary development on water features and
vice-versa are further assessed.


Lotus Mahal

Underground Siva Temple


Mahanavami Dibba


Water Network

The river Tungabhadra, one of the larger river systems

of peninsular India, which flows through the Hampi
WHS is a confluence of two rivers, Tunga and Bhadra,
originating from the Central Sahyadris. The river flows
in the east- northeast direction across the plateau and
drains the terrain creating very fertile plains towards the
foothills. It winds sinuously between and around granite
ranges, forming a complex regime in both ecologocal
and visual terms.
The drainage of water from the surrounding hills collects
in many small pools on the plateau on its way to the
river, thus dotting the landscape with several lakes and
ponds that act as localized sources of water supply.
Thanks to the understanding of the larger landscape
system, every source of water was fully utilized without
compromising and affecting environment adversely,
especially in the semi-arid environment of the Hampi
Region. Water was actually derived from four major
- Surface run-off or natural drainage,
- Sealed underground deposits or aquifers,

- Diverted river flow,

- Directly stored rainfall.
Domestic water supply may be defined as the
provision of water supply and drainage to centres
of permanent settlment, such as villages, towns and
cities, in order to satisfy the demands of a whole range
of human acitvities (drinking, hygiene, sanitation and
food preparation). During the Vijayanagara Period, it
also included uses for religious and rituals purposes,
in addition to the filling of ornamental and functional
pools, baths and tanks (Davidson-Jenkins, 1997).
A distinction must be made at the outset between
facilities constructed for the supply of domestic water
to the Royal Centre of the city and those to supply the
rest of the Urban Core. With the exception of temple
complexes, there is no evidence for public sources of
water supplied by a municipality, which could be used
by the general population of the city. The great majority
of domestic water features is actually inside the walled
area of the Royal Centre.


Temple tanks come nearest to representing a class

of municipal water features as temple facilities were
available to most of the population and would have
served both ritual and practical needs.
Domestic water systems were concentrated in the
urban core and sacred centre while the agricultural
water supply was developed within the greater
Metropolitan Area. (D.J.C. Davidson-Jenkins, 1997)
The interesting fact remains that the city of Vijayanagara,
in spite of being sited on the banks of a perennial river,
used the river water quite sparingly for its domestic

Main Water Features

Hampi WHS

Modern canals
Ancient canals

Significance of Vijayanagara Period:

The Vitthala Precinct
The Vitthala Precinct is one of the seven precincts
or urban cores that together with several other
components formed the Vijayanagara metropolis. It
also happens to be one of the last grand constructions
undertaken by the Empire within the capital city before it
was sacked by invading armies
The Vitthala Precinct displays all the key components
that characterize each of the urban cores in
Vijyanagara. It is anchored by a large temple complex
dedicated to Vijaya Vitthala. It is a complex of several
temples and attendant civic structures sited within a
walled enclosure on the banks of the river Tungabhadra.
The other node that anchors each precinct is the
Pushkarani, which is not the geometrical centre of the
urban core but more epicentres around which different
institutions were organized. The temple, the bazaar
(market) street, dwellings and workspaces were all
developed in an accretive manner and their spatial
characteristics were defined in relation to these stepped
tanks. Thus, the pushkarani is an entity that impacted
both the micro and the marco scales - from defining
the landscape territory at the larger scale, to establish
the urban pattern and finally present itself as a body to
regulate urbanism.
The Vitthala Precinct is sited, as is most other precincts,
within a valley protected by a range of hills and rocky
outcrops. Though what remains today are only those
constructions that used stone, excavations reveal all
the precincts to have a dense settlement of housing,
workshops and other strucutres spanning the entire
length of the Bazaar.
The main bazaar street which anchored the urban
core with shops lining the front and residences and
workshops behind, is puncutated with several religious
and civic structures through out its length. It leads up
to the Gejjala Mantapa, a symbolic structure that acts
both a terminus for the precinct as well as defines an
important point of entry. Ritual processions originating
at the Vijaya Vitthala Temple would proceed along the
bazaar, pausing at the numerous symbolic nodes and
terminate at the Gejjala Mantapa.


A first step was to clarify the original design intent of

the urban core. This meant re-establishing the vital
visual and physical linkages of the precinct. The critical
aspect of interpreting, conserving and re-establishing
the site relationships had never been undertaken at
Hampi. Precincts and complexes with no original
relationship now sit bunched together and are read as
random groups of monuments while integral sites and
complexes have been fragmented to a point where their
original unity have been completely torn apart.
The key point of interest that defined the approach to
landscape conservation in the Vitthala Precinct is the
importance accorded to water structures within the
urban fabric.
There are numerous water structures, both functional
and ritualistic, that punctuate the bazaar street. The
interpretation of these and their relationship to both the
urban settlement and the larger landscape is critical
in unraveling the complex layers that came together
to sustain the settlement. The various elements of
the water system were carefully located at the valley
between the bazaar and the foot of the hills.
While the various temple complexes are located at the
flat land at the mouth of the valley that meets the river,
the bazaar is strategically located at the valley formed
between the two hill ranges. The watershed found to the
west of Pushkarani houses much of the water related
infrastructure such as tanks and small percolation pits.
More retention basins were found within the watersheds
at the hill sides which fed the minor retention and
percolation structures at the foot of the hills through
subsurface flow.
The water tanks and related structures, other than
effectively harvesting, managing and storing precious
water, serve the larger and more intangible function of
structuring the urban cores themselves. The exact and
strategic location of these functional systems, while
being masked in the prevalent socio-cultural aesthetic,
serves to both locate the urban core within the larger
landscape system as well as the morphological
framework of the immediate spaces.


Water Movement - Vitthala Precinct

The Tunghabadra was not the primary source of water
for the precinct. It revealed a deep understanding of the
territorial systems and the subsequent evolution of the
urban cores.
The virgin steep rocky surfaces actually served as
sources of water for the precinct and the organization
of the precinct was arranged in a manner that did
not disturb the natural run off pattern. The water
movement revealed that most of the water that was
draining towards the precincts were concentrated
at certain points at the lower level of the the valley.
These concentrated points of water accumulation are
expressed as various water-related structures, revealing
local intelligence of the site expressing the water
management principles applied during the organization
of the precinct.
As the diagram indicates the hill had primarily two
directions of flow - one that drained the water towards
the precincts and the other that drained directly into the
Tungabhadra. The water movement at the top of the
hill are more intense towards the southern edge of the
precinct where few built structures are nestled to allow
more collection of the surface run off. On the flat terrain
where the temple and the other supporting structures
are organized, is the more drier area of the precinct
where most of the drainage takes places through sheet
The movement of water accross the terrain provided
further investigation towards understanding the water
management principles applied and provided incentive
for further research on the top of the hills where water
was both stored, channeled as well allowed to natural
flow till its final collection and usages.

Digital Terrain Model - Water Movement


Drainage System - Vitthala Precinct

The water structures built of stone as a series of
stepped tanks were spread through the extant of the
landscape in relation to the valley system and the
watershed characteristics of the region.
These stepped water tanks served more than
ceremonial and recreational identities for the settlement,
as it combined the functions of effectively harvesting,
routing and storing storm water run-off; all the more
critical since the entire population of the day was
dependant on effective managament of rain water. The
system of diverting water to these tanks was based on
careful analysis of the topography and terrain; systems
with immense learning value for sustainable design
solutions for contemporary needs.
The run-off from the surrounding steep and rocky hills
was routed through contour trenches and swales in a
manner that is visaully unobtrusive and is in complete
harmony with the the natural flow of water.
These channels or trenches drained into smaller tanks
or detentions ponds placed close to the main water
tank, to perform the primary function of desilting the
flow. The collected water then overflowed from this tank
again through a system of swales - vegetated surface
of linear depressions formed in the ground to receive
run-off and slowly direct the water to a discharge point finally to be stored in the Pushkarani. A direct reflection
of this is the presence of numerous percolation pits
which helped regenerate the aquifers.
This level of understanding of the territorial landscape
and intelligent reading of the terrain led to the
establishmenet of an effective system for the city and
rendered a sustainable network to its performance by
reducing its dependency on an external source, i. e. the
river and increasing its effiency by catching the rain
where it falls.


Water systems - Vitthala Precinct

Rainfall characteristics, nature of slope, humidity,
evaporation rate and temperature - when all these
elements were dealt with in a unified manner, it seemed
pellucid that a simple capture-and-store approach
would not ensure a perennial source. Thus more
caution was implied to look at the various natural and
man-made formation on site.
More retention basins and diversion channels were
needed to slow down the water from exiting out of the
watersheds within the suburb. this was clearly taken up
through retention basins, channels, percolation pits,
etc. The bazaar street itself was set in a way so as to
locate it along the central elevated axis and the rear
side of the bazaar climbing towards the foot of the hills.
It is this transitional space that housed the residential
settlements together with smaller water structures.

The detention pond, behind the western Bazaar Street, located at the foothills towards the North-East of the Pushkarani

Among the various smaller water structures, both

constructed and dug-out, a few are now seen as sets
of ponds located close to each other. Trying to imagine
these at the micro-cluster level throws a lot more clarity
on their nature of usage. The public-private nature of
these water bodies was also determined to a great
extent by their profile and edge definitions. Most of the
semi-private ones had a free flowing edge profile, while
the public ones were defined with steps and a sharp
and geometric edge profile.
The proximity between adjacent water bodies did
illustrate the possible intensity of the merchant
communities settlement that is documented to have
existed around these water bodies. A groupd of water
bodies with free flowing edge profile with one or more
defined water body, clearly states a colony of certain
uniqueness, possibly based on the craft guild or the
merchandise sold.

The minor detention ponds and channels act as recharge structures for the constructed wells

Water performance A

The outlet for surface water from the

temple precincts interior to exterior.
But the water from here has no
outlet to carry it further or to allow
percolation, since it is a hard, stone
paved surface.



Revival of the Pushkarani

The main thrust of the conservation programme was
revival of the Pushkarani, the ritual stepped-tank along
the bazaar axis. It was interesting to note that in a
region that receives little rainfall, the development
displayed no signs of having the river for its domestic
water needs. This led one to the fairly obvisous
conclusion that the population of the day depended
mainly on effective management of rainwater including
harvesting, routing and storage. The series of wells and
tanks extant in the landscape certainly served more
than a ceremonial function. With this background, once
the physical restoration of the tank was completed, the
rejuvenation of the water system was addressed.
Exploratory excavations in the surrounding hillside
revealed several detention ponds and trench channels,
silted over with time. These were restored to activate
the water systems. With a basic understanding that
was projected regarding the water system, it was a
chain reaction that had to be set back in motion. The
first identification was the final collection point of all
the water - the Pushkarani, which was marked as the
beginning of the restoration process. The edges were
restored with a more natural and permeable edge and
base, which would continue to allow the sub surface
water to enter the Pushkarani from the base and sides.
The next step was to set the formation levels of the area
surrounding the Pushkarani, so that in the immediate
monsoon, the run-off would collect into the Pushkarani.
The flow chart of various water structures that feed the
water into the Pushkarani as a series were mapped;
these structures were identified from the bottom of the
flow chart, from the one closest to the Pushkarani to
the farthest ones. Thus as one moved back resetting
the various structures, one found several minor water
structures with free flowing edges and quite small in a
place with scanty rainfall and unique geology. It is seen
that these embedded structures have been designed
and placed in a manner that channelize surface runoff through a system of infiltration, percolation and
recharge; ultimately leading the water to the Pushkarani.
After only one season, the Pushkarani held water
throughout the year in a region that is perpetually
drought prone. After the passage of five years, the
system is stable enough to retain water even during
poor rainfall years.


Irrigation System and Canal Performance

Kamalapura Kere (Tank) built during the Vijayanagara Period

While the Tungabhadra is a perennial river system,

the fact that it is situated in peninsular India renders
it completely dependent on the vagaries of the
monsoon in distant catchments unlike the northern
part of the countrys rivers that receive snow melt. The
requirements of agriculture, which was the primary
occupation during the Vijayanagara Period, forced the
Rulers to construct an efficient irrigation system in the
region that remain important sources of water supply
even till date.
The complexity of the water systems developed during
the Vijayanagara Period results from the integration of
the agricultural zones within the metropolitan area. By
providing water for agriculture, the irrigation watering
minimizes climatic and seasonal variations and thus
allow the growth of cultivated plants, shrubs and trees
while increasing the area under cultivation, particularly
those far away from the river.
An ingenious network of tanks, bunds and canals
that permeates the territory was almost exclusively
designed for agricultural uses and the historical urban
core (Virupaksha - Vitthala) was quite isolated from this

system of water supply.

To date, the Kamalapura Tank, covering an area of
192Ha, constitutes the core of the agricultural supply
system. It was designed during the Vijayanagara
Period to drain the run-off from the Sandur Hills. It
was additionnally fed with the perennial water from the
Raya Kaluve. The tank was developed to fulfil four main
- Irrigation of the agricultural area to the North of the
Tank estimated to almost 290 Ha,
- Supply of the Hiriya Kaluve by passing excess water
into the canal,
- Supply of the Royal Centre with perennial water,
- Filling short sections of the defensive moat that
encircled the fortifications walls.
The catchment tanks of Vijayanagara were formed
by the construction of earthern embankments across
natural drainages and are typical of those built
throughout South India in the medieval period. Earthern
bunds of this sort are gravity dams, which resist the
pressure of the water they hold by their weight alone.
Unlike modern earthen dams, they are homogeneous in

Turtha Canal (Hiriya Kaluve)


section and without a puddle wall or core. Puddle cores

are used to prevent seepage or infiltration.
This is the process by which water penetrates into the
mass of the embankment thereby reducing the frictional
resistance and adhesion of the earthwork. Surface runoff collected upstream of the bund, which was rivetted
with boulders and stone blocks in order to stabilise
the earthwork and protect it from guttering. Tanks were
fitted with outlets, which allowed water to be passed
safely through the bund so that it could be utilized for
systematic irrigation. (Davidson-Jenkins, 1997)
Complex network of canals were thus designed and
constructed to feed the rich agricultural valleys thereby
ensuring adequate food security for the city and at the
same time protecting fertile lands form urbanization.
The clayey soil was used to hold water and impervious
rock was available to facilitate the hydraulic works. The
canal network structures the natural landscape in a
way that ties it in a manner that is homogeneous and
symbiotic with the built landscape.

Construction of the Tunghabadra Dam (TB Dam)

The durability and efficiency of the irrigation system
built during the Viajayanagar Period is remarkable in
the manner it has been conceived, irrigating extensive
agricultural tracts far away from the river
Since the Vijayanagar Period, many changes occured
to the hydrological environment, especially after the
construction of the Tungabhadra Dam. As is the case
with most Indian dams, the primary purpose of the TB
Dam was irrigation in addition to flood control, water
supply and hydroelectric power generation.
The construction of the Tunghabadra Dam at
Malapuram (4km from Hospet) in the 1950s has
modified the agricultural profile of the area. The natural
level of the river has changed due to the immense
storage of water upstream and regulation of river flow
In addition, the construction of the dam has submerged
four important Vijayanagar Period diversion weirs. The

canal system which was fed by these weirs survives in

modified form as the Raya and Basavanna Canals. At
present, these canals take off from the modern dam
between the Right Bank Low level and Right Bank High
level canal. Four anicuts of the Vijayanagar Period
were also submerged upstream of Malapuram (D.J.
As shown below, the area between Hospet and
Kamalapura has been the one most impacted by the
construction of the Tunghabadra Dam. Construction of
new canals as well as modification of ancient canals
which were fed by the submerged weirs have greatly
modified the regions hydrology profile.

Canal). The canals built or modified as part of the Dam

project are wider and carry a more substantial flow over
greater distances. They predominantly follow straight
lines and are constructed using masonry with cement
facing (e.g. the Basava Canal or the Right Bank Main
Canal) (D.J. Davidson-Jenkins,1997).
By raising the water table, water is now available
throughout the year where cultivation was previously
not possible, giving the impression that the region is
less dry that it was earlier, resulting in intensive growth

The profiles and shapes of major types of canals can

be readily distinguished. The restored canals originally
built in the medieval period, are characterised by a
sinuous form which follow the contours and outcrops of
the natural landscape maintaining a head of water for
considerable distance (e.g. the Raya Kaluve or the Hirya

Major canals before 1900

Source; Davidson-Jenkins (1997)

Major canals after the construction of the Dam -1950s



Basavanna Kaluve ( Vijayanagara)

Raya Kaluve (Vijayanagara)
Hosuru Kaluve (Vijayanagara)
Kalaghatta Kaluve (Vijayanagara)
Hiriya Kaluve (Vijayanagara)

6. Premogal Kaluve (Chalukya)

7. Anegundi Kaluve (Vijayanagar)
8. Kamalapura tank (Vijayanagara)

A. Right Bank Main Canal (modern)

B. Basavanna Canal (modern)
C. Raya Kaluve (Vijayanagara)
D. Right Bank Main Canal (modern)
E. Hosuru Kaluve (Vijayanagara)
F. Kalaghatta Kaluve (Vijayanagara)

G. Left Bank Main Canal (modern)

H. Left Bank High Level Canal (modern)
I. Premogal Kaluve (Chalukya)
J. Kamalapura tank (Vijayanagara)
K. Hiriya Kaluve (Vijayanagara) known as Turtha
L. Anegundi Kaluve (Vijayanagara)

Irrigation System and Canal Performance

The Hiriya Kaluve (now called Turtha Canal), built
during the Vijayanagar Period and modified during the
construction of the Dam, provides a great example of
the remarkable connectivity between the different water
features. This canal irrigates an area extending to 2.5
km to the west of Hampi reaching Bukkasagara village
near Kampli.

As explained by Davidson-Jenkins (1997), the

maintenance of the canal revetments in the irrigated
valley is particularly important for two reasons. First, to
prevent the collapse of the lining which is aggravated
by swift flow and second, to obviate the possibility of
damage to the supporting embankment by seepage
from the canal.

The Hiriya Kaluve, as mapped below, is actually fed

by six weirs in series known as the Hiriya Anicut. The
anicut was built on the Tunghabadra River with granite
boulders and other granite formations to raise the
water level till a certain height to allow water to flow to
the canal. During non-monsoon period, almost all the
river flow is diverted into the canal. The efficiency of the
water system built to supplement the Hiriya Kaluve and
ensure a minimal water level has made the irrigated
valley an area of great agricultural importance.

Thus, the canals as well as the different water features

such as anicuts, wells, ponds, etc should not be
considered as individual structures but as part of
a larger inter-connected network. Even though the
modern canals built after the TB canals shape the
landscape in a different manner, they are now all
integrated into the same network.

Connection between Hiriya Canal

and the other canals

Hiriya Anicut

Despite the fact that agricultural areas are developed

close to irrigation canals, transportation losses through
evaporation, absorption and seepage continue to
happen. Furthermore, the neglect, mismanagement and
disuse of available water structures are compromising
the efficiency of the whole network.
Quantities of silt are brought to the tanks and the
canals, especially with the surface run-off. If the silt is
not cleared and water bodies not well-maintained, they
will be rendered useless. Types of silt such as mineral
solutions or suspension silt can actually be fertile if they
are dumped into the agricultural lands.
As shown in the map, the development of a complex
irrigation network has shaped the landscape by
providing a perennial source of water in dry areas and
thus allowing an increase in agricultural activities.
Hill areas are also critical in defining and managing
the micro watersheds. As many canals are following
the contours and outcrops, they are fed by surface
run-off and natural drainage water. As a consequence,
vegetation and ground cover should be developed
where necessary to arrest erosion and silting of water
bodies while allowing surface run-off.
Apart from the ancient and modern distinctions, two
types of canals can be distinguished according to their
function within the network:


Source; Davidson-Jenkins (1997)

- Main canals that act as nodes and ensure the

functionning of the whole network by bridging
different water structures. The inter-connection point
(e.g. between river and canal, between canal and
tank, between canals) should be carefully maintained
as the entire network depends upon them for its
- Secondary canals are built to spread water within
the cultivated areas. The development of these
canals have changed the agricultural profile of
the area by supplementing water wherever it is
possible. As explained in the agricultural chapter,
the agricultural pattern is based on irrigated crops.
The agricultural yield becomes, as a consequence,
closely related to the efficiency of these canals.

Irrigation Supply
Hampi WHS

Modern canals
Ancient canals

Flood risk
In the State of Karnataka, more than 70% of the
annual rainfall happens during the South-West
Monsoon within a short period. Flood risk has
also increased as climate changes accelerate.
While the pictures show the impact of floods in
2007, the map highlights the river area after the
flood occurence in 2009. During the 2009 flood,
the river area has increased by 81%, affecting
more than 277 survey numbers in 14 different
villages in the Hampi WHS (HWHAMA source).

August 2007: Tunghabadra river level at the Anegundi Bridge

The non-predictability of the impacts of

Tunghabadra dam has increased the vulnerability
of flood risks. Indeed, excessive rainfall may
require that large quantities of water is suddenly
released from the reservoir in order to protect the
dam structure. Such a release is disastrous to the
area located downstream like the Hampi WHS,
affecting both the monuments and the people.
Floods can cause loss of life, property and
economic loss, inundation of fertile land leading
to serious food shortage. In this context,
measures towards mitigation of flood should

August 2007

- Further assessment the natural risk and mark

the boundaries of the 10-year and 50-year of
flood occurence hazard.
- Maintenance and desiltation of water
bodies: encroachments, filling-up and lack of
maintenance of water bodies increase the risk of
flood by obstructing the water network,
- No development along the river and in
flooded area (especially in the flooding zone
already identified): for instance, the tourism
shops, restaurants and hotels functioning along
the river bank should be strictly regulated. The
Hampi Master Plan should clearly identify areas
where development is forbidden due to flood risk,

August 2007: View on the Tunghabadra River

April 2010: Area along the river bank flooded in 2009 & 2007 where development should be strictly forbidden

- Coordination between the Tungabhadra

Board and the HWHAMA should be improved
to reduce negative impacts during water release
from the Dam (warning systems, publications of
flood forecasting bulletins, etc).


Flooding Zone in 2009

Hampi WHS

Core Zone
River after
River before

Development along the river banks

Location of recent development at Hampi Bazaar

Important developments which compromise the

authenticity of the World Heritage Site have occured
recently along the Tunghabadra River bank. For
instance, the steps leading down to the bank of the
river developed at Hampi Bazaar do not follow the
traditional design of the region. In the Hampi area, the
presence of boulders located on the river edge drive
and contain the river flow naturally. The constructed
ghats is a built tradition typically rooted in northern
India where they define and contain the rivers edge
in flat alluvial plains, in contrast to the peninsular
landscape defined by strong relief and rocky strata.
Thus, the large scale construction of the ghats
within the protected area visually dominates the
extraordinary natural environment and historical
setting, compromising the very authenticity of the site.

Traditional profile of the river bank where boulders drive and contain water flow





Non-traditional ghats changing the natural profile


Steps leading down to the River

1. Section of the river at Hampi Bazaar highlighting the impact of the recent steps on the natural profile of the river

2. View from the Virupapura Island towards the recent ghats and Virupaksha Temple

It is critical that all kind of developments along the

river bank is strictly prohibited to avoid irreparable

3.Natural characters of the river edge

5.View on Hampi Bazaar before the ghats


4. View from Anegundi: the river bank should be kept in its original form without any construction and development

Contemporary challenges
The level of ground water in the town of Kamalapura has
been observed by the State Department of Mining and
Geology, Ground Water Division. Though not critical, the
level of ground water in Kamalapura has shown a variation of
close to two metre between 1997 and 2005.

Depleting groundwater resources have enormous impact on

the environment both in the form of inadequacy and quality
of available water. Tapping of deep seated ground water
through borewells without implementing recharge measures
accompanied by shortage of rainfall will considerably reduce
the availability of ground water in the area.

Fig: Evolution of ground Water Level (in mtrs)

in Kamalapura (Source: Hampi Master Plan)

Decline in groundwater levels leads to deterioration of

water quality. Quality of water can be also affected by the
excessive use of pesticides and fertilisers in agriculture,
dumping and industrial effluents.
Effective recharge measures have to be defined to rejuvenate
the level of ground water as well as to limit environmental
impacts and effects on human health due to the risk of
Furthermore, the level of ground water which is exceptionally
low in Hospet Taluk increase the risk of water contamination
due to pesticides and chemicals fertilizers. The depth
of ground soil is very low to efficiently filter and retain
chemical products before reaching and contaminating the
groundwater aquifer.

1.98 1.83 1.88 1.98


3.11 3.05


Adequate measures should be undertaken to ensure that the

deep aquifer is not contaminated.

Effects of ineffective water ressources management

Poor Watershed
Management /
Poor drainage

Lack of
recharge &

Depletion of Ground
Water Ressources

of ground

Inequity in water

Lack of
maintenance &
restoration of
water bodies


Lack of efficient

Massive use
of chemical
fertilizers &


Environmental Pressures

Reduction of water
availability for

Obstruction and
Degradation of traditional
water bodies and systems

Deterioration of
surface and ground
water quality

Failure of wells

Scarcity of water for

domestic consumption

Floods along


Vulnerability of

Land degration
Discharge of
(e.g. due to mining


Decline in

Siltation of
water bodies



Maintain water bodies

Context and Issues
Water bodies in the Hampi World Heritage Site include
the river, canal systems (ancient and modern), ritual
tanks, ponds and tanks (natural and man-made) and
open wells.

I. Physical Preservation of water bodies

Maintain water resources

Prevent pollution

The quality of water resources and quantum of water

is affected by urbanisation, pollution, obstructions in
the catchment area, lack of landscape preservation,
etc. The depletion of water bodies leads to the rapid
degradation of water quality, shrinking and eventual
death of water bodies.

Water bodies are supplied by water drained from a

catchment area to the water body. If development
and land use are planned without understanding the
hydrological flows, the amount of water collected in the
water body will decrease. It will lead to the obstruction
in the catchment areas and depletion and eventual
death of water bodies.

When water bodies get depleted or disappear, even if

they are small ones, the water network of the region as
a whole is threatened. Not only will it damage traditional
water bodies from a heritage perspective but also, more
critically, compromise the ability to meet contemporary
needs in terms of drinking water and irrigation.

Conservation of water bodies and their catchments

is of utmost importance as they also form the habitat
for various flora and fauna. They are also crucial in
maintaining an equitable micro-climate.

Water pollution happens when a water body is

adversely affected due to the addition of large amount
of materials to the water. It can be garbage, release
of sewage, polluants like detergents, pesticides and
chemicals fertilisers. The excessive discharge of
nutrients stimulates the growth of plants and algae
which leads to the decrease of water quality and further
to the ecological death of water bodies.

All water features like rivers, reservoirs, lakes, seasonal
stream beds and wetlands should be protected,
maintained and enhanced in capacity. This is critical
from the long-term ecological well-being of the region
as also to address the infrastructural needs for
Most water features in the Hampi Region are severely
threatened due to a combination of encroachment,
catchment alteration, eutrophication and bad
management practices. An integrated management
strategy is urgently needed to ensure survival of
these critical natural resources in order to sustain the
development in the region in both short and long term.

The pictures below show the increase of eutrophication

in the Kamalapuram Lake between 2003 and 2010.
Kamalapura Lake which is the main water supply for
both drinking and irrigated purposes.

Restore Landscape Functions

The importance of landscape systems in preserving,
maintaining and rejuvenating water bodies cannot be
overstated. For instance, at watershed level, removal
of vegetation and subsequent soil erosion drastically
decreases the ability of landscape to absorb water,
leading to increased surface run-off, siltation of water
bodies and flood incidents.

Kamalapura Lake - 2003

Kamalapura Lake - 2010

Preservation of water bodies and water quality must be

considered as a high priority in the area to avoid further
degradation and depletion of water resources.It shall
become as much the responsibility of the concerned
authorities (HWHAMA, Local bodies, ASI, State DAM)
as citizens and visitors.
Maintenance of water bodies shall consists of actions
to maintain and enhance water resource, improve
water quality, prevent pollution and protect future
development from negative impacts.

- Maintain existing drainage patterns and avoid

obstruction of natural water movements
- Restore historical water bodies through the
involvement of local communities
- Avoid obstruction of the historical irrigation network
- Maintain adequate soil porosity throughout the
- Arrest depletion of ground water level by planned
recharging of aquifers
- Stabilize steep slopes that drain into the water bodies
to stop soil erosion and premature sedimentation
- Develop vegetation and ground cover through water
courses to avoid erosion and siltation of water bodies
- Limit the amount of nutrients reaching the water
bodies to avoid the further eutrophication

II. Visual Quality of water bodies

Besides the physical preservation of water bodies,
equally important is their visual quality that needs to be
preserved and enhanced.
For instance, the pictures below show the evolution of
the Virupaksha Tank between 2003 and 2010.
The rate and extant of growth of plants and algae clearly
demonstrates the degradation of water quality due to
pollution. In addition, development and encroachments
occuring along the tank, especially to the north,
severely compromises the visual quality and constitutes
a serious risk of environmental pollution.
It becomes imperative to prevent, control and remove
encroachments that directly impact water bodies due to
proximity, land use, etc.

Guidelines to preserve visual quality and regulate development:

- Forbid all new construction along the river bank (either
permanent or temporary) within a buffer zone of 100
metre from the high floodline
- Forbid all new construction surrounding static water
bodies such as tanks and ponds (both historical and
contemporary) within a buffer zone of at least 50 metre
- Only excavations related to conservation programs
should be allowed at the immediate vicinity of water

Virupaksha Tank - 2003

- Limit the use of soap and water detergents from

entering water bodies; it should be completely
forbidden in the river

- Forbid all changes to the ground profile of the water

bodies and its surrounding that would negatively impact
drainage patterns

- Avoid land use that will increase soil erosion and

sediments transport to the water body

- Protect the existing skyline by limiting the height of


- Regulate waste and garbage dumping, especially

those occuring close to water bodies

- Integrate power lines, pylons and antennas in a manner that is non-obtrusive so as to preserve the authenticity of the heritage site and the visual quality of landscape

- Raise awareness of local communities on the

importance of maintaining water bodies and the risk of
environmental pollution.
- Ensure the application of all national and state
legislations and by-laws related to water without any
dispensation for both public and private water bodies.

Recognizing the critical nature of water in the Hampi

region, it is strongly recommended that land use / activities that are disproportionately intense on water
consumption are discouraged. All proposed development, especially tourism related, should necessarily
incorporate water conservation and water recycling
measures and shall not have any recourse to groundwater.

- Exploitation of groundwater by any agency,both public

and private, should be strictly regulated

Virupaksha Tank - 2010

- New developments shall necessarily incorporate water

conservation and water recycling measures.

For reference, the main national and state waterrelated legislation includes the national Environment
(protection) Act-1996, the Karnakata Water (prevention
and control of pollution) Act-1974, Karnataka Ground
Water Act-1999, Karnataka Irrigation Act-1965, National
Water Policy and Karnataka State Water Policy, etc.

- All tourism related developments both public and private such as hotels, guest houses, resorts, restaurants,
etc should strictly adhere to the highest standards of
water conservation including recycling, waste water
treatment, disposal and drainage.
- Water conservation mechanisms should be retrofitted
in existing developments to the extent possible.


Guidelines for the physical preservation of water bodies


Regulate development along the river

Context and Issues

Satellite Map and Contours Lines along the Tungabhadra River

With the sudden growth of tourism and related activities,

the river bank is encroached by guest houses, hotels
and restaurants. Being a sensitive ecological area, the
introduction of non-conducive uses and unchecked
development threatens existing biodiversity, generates
pollution and seriously compromises the pristine visual
quality of the site.
While this landscape study is not a statutory document,
its guidelines and recommendations need to be
translated and integrated with the Hampi Master
Plan to ensure its legal validation and hence their
All maner of development - temporary, informal,
permanent, legal or otherwise - needs to be strictly
regulated and prohibited along the river bank to
preserve ecological sensitive areas and also maintain
the visual quality of the site.

By focusing on the river bank within the core zone, it is
recommended tthat the folllowing are integrated within
the Hampi Master Plan:
- All new developments shall be planned in continuity
with existing settlements to pre-empt urban sprawl and
scattered urbanisation. While detailed land use plans
are defined at the village level, a consolidation of the
overall land use and its conservation policies needs to
be compiled at the Hampi WHS level to ensure clarity
and minimize opportunities for wrongful interpretation.
- No development and construction of any sort (either
permanent or temporary) shall be allowed within a band
of 100 meters from the high flood line on either bank
of the river as per the legal regulations. This boundary
needs to be clearly highlighted within the Hampi
Master Plan, especially for along Hampi and Anegundi
- No Development shall be allowed on flood plains to
ensure adequate margins for water during flood events
and water releases from the Tunghabadra Dram. While
the last flood episode has been mapped in 2009, it is
critical to document and demarcate 10, 50 and 100 year
flood level projections.

The Revised Master Plan should also necessarily

integrate the clear demarcation of protected and
conservation areas along the river (as demonstrated in
the map on opposite page).
The aim is to conserve and protect ecologically
sensitive areas, natural corridors, valleys, natural
features and visual quality of the landscape. The
following typologies have been defined to regulate
development along the river bank and could be
extented to the larger World Heritage Site. They include:
- Protected areas as indicated on the map, cover
agricultural zones located between the river and the
Hills. Their regulation aims at preventing indiscriminate
development and urban sprawl while allowing
agricultural practices. Built development (either
temporary or permanent) for residential or touristic
use is strictly forbidden. Only such uses and activities
directly related to agricultural practices (storage
shelters, barns, cattle sheds and animal pens, etc)

should permitted. Conversion of agricultural land to any

other use in this zone should be strictly prohibited.
- Areas declared as agricultural in this zone should also
be monitored for the appropriate practice. Planting of
the wrong plant type (plantations, non-indigenous, etc)
or even leaving the land fallow and untended should be
strictly forbidden.
- Conservation areas, as indicated on the map,
cover the hills that face the river. While all manner
of developments is already prohibited in the hills
and boulders areas, it is necessary to highlight the
importance of implementing the law in this region so as
to maintain the visual quality that is critical to the sites


Protected and Conservation Areas along the river


Vitthala Precinct



River before
Existing Settlement
Protected Areas
Conservation Area

As stated earlier, development should be planned in continuity with

existing settlements within the conurbation boundaries and clearly
mapped in the Master Plan.

Hills mapped as conservations areas exclude all manner of

construction and development. Specifically, quarrying activities must
be stopped immediately so as to not cause further deterioration in
the visual quality of the site.

A set back of 100 metres from the river bank should be marked in
the Master Plan specifically for Anegundi and Hampi villages. While
Protected areas (shown in green) allows agricultural use, conversion
to any other use should be strictly prohibited to preserve the visual
quality and the natural drainage patterns.

These land use typologies are meant as a demonstration of the

possible regulations to be imposed along the river bank. A similarly
detailed exercice needs to be extended to the entire World Heritage
Site during the revision of the Master Plan.



Irrigated Valley

Kamalapura Tank

Krishnapura Temple
and its Bazaar

View from Matanga Hill

Hiriya Kaluve
Known as Turtha Canal


Definition & Purposes

Agriculture which includes the activities of
cultivating soil, producing crops and raising
livestock constitutes the main economic base of
the Hampi WHS. Almost 33 % of the area of Hampi
WHS is documented as being under agricultural
Besides shaping the landscape, agricultural
patterns also reflect the socio-economic profile of
the area. Hence, the present analysis encompasses
both the physical and social characteristics of the
area formed or influenced by agriculture.
The various agricultural zones of the site have
been mapped at the larger level by identifying
irrigated area, plantation area and current fallows.
While focusing on a smaller area, an analysis of
the cropping patterns including harvesting period,
water requirements, irrigation systems, visual
impacts, etc has been undertaken.
A part of the socio-economic survey recently
conducted by the Hampi Authority has been
interpreted in this section to address the interface
of physical environment and livlihood that includes
social patterns related to farming activities (land
holding, employment, irrigation, etc).
Traditional and modern practices and their impacts
on the environment are highlighted, forming the
background for the definition of policy guidelines.

During the Vijayanagara Period, agricultural activities

were already concentrated on the flat and welldrained areas located to the south and the west of the
urban settlement, described as the Irrigated Valley.
The development of an ingenious irrigation network
designed by the Rulers supplemented the urban
settlement with an efficient agricultural production.
However, post Vijayanagara Period, development of
modern irrigation systems, intensification of agriculture,
introduction of new crops, mechanization, natural
disasters and such other issues have quite drastically
altered the agricultural profile of the area.

To the extent feasible, agricultural practices should be

encouraged as a component of indigenous culture to
avoid loss of traditional ways of living.
As a Living Heritage Site, contemporary imperatives of
development, population growth, food production and
profitability dictates that new crops or technologies
introduced that will undeniably change - and certainly
compromise - traditional practices. Some changes
could be considered as inevitable and be seen as
positive for increased living standards while others,
specially if unregulated, cannot be acceptable from the
perspetive of mantaining the Heritage status of the site.

It is in this context that it is relevant to explore the limits

of changes to agricultural process that can safely occur
without compromising the integrity and authenticity of
the site.

The main challenge posed by agricultural activities

within the WHS is to balance the needs and demands
of progress while continuing to promote and preserve
traditional practices that bear testimony to the rich
heritage of the area.

The various agricultural activities as well as irrigation

schemes are instrumental in shaping the landscape
and thus a drastic change in these is bound to impact
the balance between natural and cultivated landscapes.

While encouraging traditional agricultural practices, it

is equally important to increase awareness regarding
sustainable agricultural practices.

From both physical and social perspectives, agriculture

constitutes a part of the Tangible and Intangible
Heritage. Activities have been developed in relation
to the historical irrigation and water systems. Till date,
local communities continue to use the historical water

View of paddy Fields on the Virupapuragadda Island



Historical Agricultural patterns

Testimony provided by travellers accounts provides

invaluable information describing the character and
extent of agricultural activities during the Vijayanagara

This is the best provided city in the world and is stocked

with provision such as rice, wheat, grains, jowar and a certain
amount of barley and beans, moong, pulses, horse gram, and
many other seeds which grow in this country which are the food
of the people, and there is large store of these and very cheap,
but wheat is not so common as the other grains, since no one
eats it except the Moors. The streets and markets are full of
laden oxen without count.
Then to see the many loads of limes that come each day, such
that those Povos are of no account, and also loads sweet and
sour oranges, and wild brinjals, and other garden stuff in such
abundance as to stupefy one. There are many pomegranates
also, grapes are sold at three bunches a fanam, and
pomegranates ten a faman.
Domingo Paes

The provision of sufficient food, especially in a context of

semi-arid climate, reveals an efficient agricultural system
that was reflected both in the spatial as well as the socioeconomic organisation of the Empire.
The metropolis of Vijayanagar was divided into two
distinct zones separated by the Irrigated Valley which
runs parallel to the sinuous course of the Tungabhadra
River. The Sacred centre to the North of the Valley was
imbued with mythical and ritual importance while the
Urban Core including the Royal Centre to the South of
the Valley was the centre of urban activity and residence.
Agricultural production was concentrated in the irrigated
valley and the large zone between Nagalapura and the
Urban Core.The suburban zones may be presumed to
have also included garden tracts, watered by a perennial

The efficiency of the irrigation canals developed by

the Rulers has made the area of great agricultural
importance. The intensive production of wet and garden
crops was facilitated by perennial water supply from the
Basavanna, Raya, Hosuru, Hiriya and Anegundi anicutfed canals, the Kamalapura and Mallappanagudi tanks
and wells (as detailed out in the Water Chapter).
Crops were traditionnally grown according to the type of
* Dry lands without irrigation: Cholum, Ragi, Korra,
Cotton, Indigo, Wheat and Flax,
* Wet lands with irrigation: Paddy and sugar cane,
* Garden lands: Coconut, Betel, Plantain sugar,
Banana, Nut trees, Turmeric, Chillies, Onion, Hemp,
Wheat, Coriander, Ragi and vegetables (aubergines,
cucumbers, pumpkins and gourds)

Outside the City are fields and places richly cultivated with
wheat and gram and rice and millet, for this last is the grain
which is most consumed in the land; and next to it betel, which
is a thing that in the greater part of the country they always eat
and carry in the mouth
Everything has to be sold alive so that each one may know what
he buys - this at least so far as concerns game - and there are
fish from the river in large quantities. The markets are always
overflowing with abundance of fruits, grapesm oranges, limes,
pomegranates, jack-fruit, and mangoes, all very cheap.
Fernao Nuniz, 1535


From the peculiar situation of this city in narrow valleys

whence the river is pent up by rocks and hills, the bottoms
between which are cultivated with plentiful crops of paddy
watered by many conduits carried from the Tommbudra.
Mackenzie (1800)

Between all the enclosures are the plains and valleys

where rice is grown, and there are gardens with many
orange trees, limes, citrons and radishes, other kinds of
garden produce only with lettuces and cabbages.
Sewell, 1900

It may be presumed that the Urban Core did not

house the agricultural workers. The work force
which maintained the agricultural tracts within the
metropolitan area, resided in the suburbs outside the
Urban Core.
As indicated by Stein (1980), the emergence
of Vijayanagara represented a series of new
developments in social and political organisation.
These changes are most clearly visible in the sphere of
Although the nadu, an assembly representing
several villages remained the basic building block of
agricultural organisation (Stein 1980:90-91), it was in a
reduced and fragmented form. Throughout the period
prior to the foundation of Vijayanagar, traditional village
assemblies remained responsible for the collective
management of land and land use, as well as irrigation,
dispute settlement, taxation and temple gift allocation.
During the Vijayanagar period, ambitious individuals,
in particular amaranayakas, assumed the responsibility
for agricultural management replacing the autonomous
village assemblies as the primary or dominant agents
of land control. (D.J. Davidson-Jenkins, p12)

Current Agricultural patterns

Agricultural production remains concentrated in the
flat, well-drained areas west and south of the urban
settlement, both during historic times as well as in
present day.

As elaborated earlier in the water chapter, irrigated

areas consist mainly of the tracts fed by channels from
anicuts drawn across the Tungabhadra River or from the
Kamalapura Tank.

Construction of the Tungabhadra Dam and consequent

availability of water throughout the year has changed
the agricultural profile of the area by allowing crops both type and extant - to grow where it was previously
not feasible.

While the development of a perenial water source

is commendable, irrigated agriculture is currently
facing serious challenges that would threaten the
environmental, economic and social balance of the
area. The most important challenge is that water
availability for irrigation is rapidly decreasing due
to increasing demands of human consumption,
urbanisation and industrial and others uses.

In fact, dry farming was historically predominant in the

area. But with the construction of the Tungabhadra
Dam, the croping pattern prevalent in the region now
follows closely the irrigation practices as defined by the
canals developed from the reservoir.
Three distincts seasons can be classified:
* Khariff: from June to September,
* Rabi: from October to February,
* Summer: from March to May
However, the area is characterised by two main crops
* Early Season or Mungari: from June to September,
* Late Season of Hingari: from October to February.
Agriculture being the main economic activity, it is
spread over 7,769.25 Ha of the Hampi WHS, or nearly
33% of the entire Local Planning Area.

Besides the development of irrigation supply, the

economic trends towards intensive production has also
radically changed the agricultural profile of the area.
Sugar cane, banana and coconut have been developed
to improve agricultural incomes. The indigenous red
sugar cane has been entirely superseded by the
more productive but non-indigenous white cane. The
cultivation of factory crops such as Banana for the
Mumbai and Goa markets has also replaced production
of staple crops.
The recent multiplication of cash crops (such as
sugarcane and banana) grown for direct sale rather
than for the familys needs or livestock feed replace
progressively traditional food crops (paddy, ragi,
pulses). Besides compromising the traditionnal
cropping patterns of the area, development of cash
crops also severely impacts landscape and biological


Negative impacts of cash crops

of cash crops

Lack of

Loss of traditional
agricultural patterns
Monotony in the visual

Decline in land

disease risk agricultural yield

Increase of
pesticides and
fertilizers use

Loss of
farming income

Risk of water
and soil

Agriculture Areas
Hampi WHS

Current Fallow

Shaped Landscape
Ecological impacts of agriculture
Landscape shaped by agriculture is structured by a
mosaic of natural and man-made patches whose size,
shape and spatial organisation vary. These landscape
patterns directly influence larger ecological systems in
terms of water runoff, erosion, soil nutrients, animals
movements, etc.
Analyses of these agricultural practices and the
manner in which they shape landscapes are critical
in understanding ecological dynamics and anticipate
changes that may cause irreversible damage to the
environmental balance.
The interconnection between landscape ecological
systems and agricultural land-use thus needs to be
The agricultural landscape of Hampi is characterised by
small land holdings cultivated based on the network of
channel streams. Due to availability of water througout
the year, the whole agricultural ecosystem has become
extremely water-dependent. Keeping in mind the
increased demand of water for agriculture, industries
and domestic consumption, water security is bound
to become an very real threat in the coming years.
Despite the current efficiency of the irrigation supply,
it is critical to raise awareness amongst farmers and
understand the limits of water resources. As proposed
in the guidelines, an improved watershed management
will ensure a sustainable use of natural resources while
enhancing land productivity.

An additional threat to agriculture is soil erosion and

land degradation. Wind, water, lack of crop rotation,
increased use of pesticides and chemicals fertilizers
can lead to soil erosion, depletion of soil nutrients and
thus reduced land productivity.
Crop rotation is deemed critical thus needed to:
Prevent soil depletion
Maintain Soil Fertility
Reduce Soil Erosion
Reduce reliance on chemicals fertilizers
Reduce pests incidence
Prevent disease
Agricultural activity that aims at higher yields through
increased use of pesticides and chemicals fertilisers
leads to sterile eco-systems which can cause severe
environmental damage. Excessive use of pesticides and
chemicales fertilisers are leading to:
Pest resurgence which leads to an increase in use of
pesticides and fertilizers
Risk of soil contamination and degradation leading
to a decrease in agricultural yield,
Risk of Water contamination, especially in the case
of the Hampi Region where the groundwater level is
fairly high. Agricultural polluants contaminate the subsurface aquifer.
Health problems due to build up of toxic chemicals in
the water sources
Financial vulnerability of farmers.
It is imperative that the reliance on chemical fertilizers
is reduced while propogating sustainable farming practices, as detailed further.

View of the agricultural field along the road between Kadirampura and Hampi


Making farmers matter And monitor, budget, manage and prosper
For the first time in India, farmers in Andra Pradesh
are starting to deal with drought by reducing their
demand rather than by pumping more and more
from deeper and deeper. The idea behind this project
is to monitor, demystify and thus better manage
The first task was to map the locality and define its
hydrological units, each of which is an area drained by
a single stream with one inlet and one oulet.
The farmers taking part in the project measure and
record rainfall, the water table, withdrawals and other
data for their land. They calculate how much water
will be available if the table is not to fall, decide which
crops to grow and estimate how much water they
will use, bearing in mind that about half will go in
evapotranspiration. They then sit down together in a
group and draw up a water budget.
Details of the eventual agreement showing who should
grow what and how are displayed in the village and
updated over the year with information about rain,
harvests and even revenues.
The Economist - May 2010

Matanga Hill

Hampi Bazzar

Matanga Hill

Agricultural fields in
the Irrigated Valley

Visual impacts of agriculture

The visual impression of landscape is based on
topography, texture, color and form coming together
to form a scene which appears to possess common
characteristics or identity. The visual impact of
agriculture is not assessed as an individual entity but as
a component of a larger landscape whose visual quality
has to be preserved.
The interrelationship between agriculture and
settlements was already quite well established during
the Vijyanagara Period where the Irrigated Valley
constituted the physical connection between Sacred
Centre and the Urban Core. Besides supplying
settlements with sufficient food, agriculture played an
important role in shaping the landscape and bridging
the Sacred Centre and Urban Core.
The increase in irrigation systems and the provision of
perennial supply of water has changed the agricultural

In addition, multiplication of cash crops like banana and

sugar cane has monopolized the visual landscape by
reducing agricultural diversity.

The assessment of visual effects of agriculture also

addresses the impact on heritage, settlements and
the larger environment. As elaborated further in the
guidelines, measures should be undertaken where
agricultural lands or plantations compromise historical
linkages. Low visual impacts crops such as rice,
pulses, ragi, etc should be prefered to re-establish such

While travellers testimony (Domingo Paes, Fernao

Nuniz, etc) characterised the diversity of agriculture
into three main types (wet land, dry lands and gardens),
agriculture is now constituted almost entirely by irrigated
lands increasing the green perception of landscape.

The local urban fabric is characterised by compact

settlements where farming forms an integral part of the
village structure. Such spatial and social organisation
has, to date, prevented scattered buildings from
damaging the integrity and balance of landscape.

Presently, the alternating high and low wet crops gives

the site its visual diversity. For instance, coconut trees
are often planted along the irrgation canals and such
organisation visually marks the field boundaries.

It is critical to avoid a dispersion of buildings and farms

in the landscape whose aesthetic impacts is sure to
threaten the agricultural and visual character and the
ecological system of the region.

profile of the area by allowing crops to grow where it

was not possible previously. It also leads to a change in
the visual character of the area by increasing irrigated
and cultivated lands.


Agricultural transition: edges and boundaries

Agricultural areas are demarcated by natural
(rocky areas) and man-made (monuments, urban
settlements) boundaries. As farming activities are
concentrated on the flat and well-drained areas, the
edge between hillocks and agricultural areas are
clearly visible. This boundary that marks the transition
between dry and irrigated area can either act as filter
or barrier to the transport of biological and physical
elements (flow of water, habitat species, soil nutrient,
The Vijayanagara rulers took advantage of the
edge between rocky and flat areas while designing
the water channels which follow the contours and
outcrops of the natural landscape so as to maximise
collection of run-off.
However, due to potential erosion in the upper part,
the edge between rocky and cultivated areas is
sensitive to sedimentation which can compromise
efficiency of the irrigation channels. Watershed
management, as detailed out in the guidelines
principles, is thus critical to ensure sustainable
agriculture. By adopting conservation measures at
watershed level, it will reduce erosion in the upper
part of the watershed and thus help to reduce
sedimention of irrigation channel in the lower part.
The boundary between agricultural area and
monuments is sometimes less visible, especially
where the monuments are yet to be excavated or
restored. Use of pesticides and chemicals fertilisers
as well as deep ploughing can severely impact the
built heritage.
Being a living heritage site, conservation programs
should not prevent local communities from farming.
As detailed out in the guidelines, it is thus critical to
define measures to ensure that both heritage and
local livelihood are preserved.
A coordination between the Hampi World Heritage
Area Management Authority, the Archaeological
Survey of India, the State Department of Archaeology
and Museums is needed to define zones where
buried monuments are suspected or where
excavations are planned to ensure sustainable
solutions are implemented by farmers.


Landscape transition
Hampi WHS







Main valleys

Socio-Economic Profile of Farming Activities

Being the main economic basis of the area, agricultural
practices are also reflected in the socio-economic
profile of the area. The Socio-economic study currently
undertaken in the Hampi WHS provides an opportunity to
better understand the profile of farmers and agricultural
labours. The following trends have been further
highlighted in this socio-economic study which though
not completed as yet gives an overall picture of the
challenges faced.
The agricultural profile of the area is characterized
by dominance of small and marginal land holders. In
Kamalapuram, almost 70% of farmers respondents own
less than 3 acres of land, either irrigated or dry.
It reveals the vulnerability of the land holders in a context
where land degradation, climate change, difficulties to
access markets can rapidly weaken farmers livelihood.

Land Holding of the farmers respondents of the

socio-economic study in Kamalapuram

In Kamalapuram, more than 80% of the farmers

respondents are selling their products through middlemen. As intermediary, middle-men take a part of
benefit on sales which reduce the profit of farmers while
increasing their dependency on the middle-men to
reach the market.
Ensuring sustainability, economic viability of small
holders and improving their competitiveness in
production and marketing by facilitating better access
to improved technology, inputs, credits and markets
should be accorded priority for inclusive agricultural

Status of Agriculture Labour

For each farmer respondent in Kamalapuram, more
than 2 persons of the family are employed directly in the
farm. Besides the family employees, 62 % of farmers
have between 1 and 5 outside employees and 27 %
between 6 and 10 employees. Only 4 % of them have
more than 20 employees. However, the data collected
does not mentioned whether the employees are only
It is critical to note that 52.8 % of the overall
respondents in Kamalapuram are agriculture labours or
agriculture workers who, though predominant, constitute
one of the most neglected and vulnerable class of the
Their income is low and their employment is usually
irregular. And since, they do not have any skills or
specific training, they have no employment alternatives.
Because of their low training, once the harvesting period
is over, many of them become jobless. In addition, as
they are not organized in union or association, they can
not fight for their rights or bargain with land owners and
secure good wage, which increases their vulnerability.

Ownership of the farmers respondents of the

socio-economic study in Kamalapuram

Indebtedness of farmers
Among the total respondents in Kamalapuram, 19%
of the loans are contracted for agricultural purposes.
In agriculture, debt can be taken to increase the
productivity of farming activities (purchase of materials)
or also to purchase pesticides and fertilisers.
39.4 % of farmers respondents in Kamalapuram spent
between 25 and 50 % of their land income in pesticides
and chemicals fertilizers. The most alarming data is that
27.3 % of the farmers respondents in Kamalapuram
spent more than their total land income in pesticides.
Indebtedness and failure to pay can also become
one of the important causes for farmerssuicides.
Farm households shall be enabled to diversify their
llivelihood activities through the development of nonfarm activities to secure their income and decrease
their vulnerability.

Pressing issues highlighted by the respondents of the

socio-economic study in Kamalapuram

Measures should be taken by the government to

improve the situation of labours (cooperative farming,
creation of alternatives source of employment,
resettlement of agricultural workers, training and
building capacities programs to improve skills, etc)

Status of agriculture labour


Source of the data: Socio-economic study in the Hampi World Heritage Site(on-going)

Traditional processing of sugarcane

Being one of the major crops grown in the area, Sugar Cane can be sold
to the factory or for direct consumption for extracting juice or to process
for manufacturing jaggery. As illustrated, the two important stages in the
production of jaggery are extraction of juice and boiling and processing.
The extraction of juice is done with a special crusher which is usually
operated by bullocks. Boiling the juice is done in large pans placed
over furnaces. The boiling process consists of heating the juice and its
clarification. When the temperature reaches 80 to 85 F within about half
an hour, the first scum appears. This scum is carefully removed. Further
clarification can be done by addition of chemicals. The temperature keeps
increasing till it reaches 98F, where it remains constant until most of the
water has evaporated. Typically, the cane bagasse itself is used as fuel in
the burning process.
The pan is removed from the fire when the temperature reaches 115-120F.
The semi-solid mass is transfered to a cooling pan and becomes solid upon
cooling. It is then called jaggery.
While many farmers are selling their sugarcane crop to the Hospet factory,
it becomes essential to preserve the traditional heritage of processing
sugarcane. Sustainable tourism development provides an opportunity
to market local products and thus support farmers. A network between
farmers, the HWHAMA and tourists shops could be put in place to sell
jaggery directly in the tourists facilities.

Marketing of Apple Juice - Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh has varied agro-climatic conditions suitable for the
development of horticulture. With apple crop that accounts for about
45 percent of the total area under fruit crops, the State is recognized as
the Apple State of India.The Himachal Pradesh Horticultural Produce
Marketing and Processing Corporation Ltd (HPMC) under the State
Government has introduced reforms in the field of fruit produce
marketing, processing, cold storing and export of fresh fruit and
processed fruit products.
By facilitating the marketing of apple and apple products (apple juice,
cider, apple wine) within the State, the HPMC has been leader in the
promotion of the State Local Products. Apple Juice and others products
are now sold in all tourists shops and facilities under the HPMC brand.


Making agriculture sustainable by reducing the use of Pesticides and Chemicals Fertilisers


Agricultural polluants include pesticides and chemicals

fertilisers. A study conducted by the Department of
Environment, GoK shows the use of fertilizers and
chemicals is on the rise in the last five years in the state.

Unsustainable agricultural practices contribute to huge

environmental and human threats.

* Risk of Water Contamination

In Karnataka, the average use of fertilizer is about 1011 kilograms/hectare which is less than the national
average of 18 kilgrams/hectare. However, the district of
Bellary in particular consumes the maximum amount of
fertilizers as rice and sugar cane are the major crops
cultivated in this district.

Contamination of water by the use of pesticides and

chemicals fertlizers in agriculture can happen either
through surface water run-off from agricultural land to
water bodies or by the percolation into groundwater
aquifers. Risk of water contamination is directly
proportional to the volume of chemical products used.

Distribution of fertilizers in 2008-2009 (tonnes)

in Hospet Taluk

This threat is critically high in the case of Hampi WHS

where the groundwater level is particularly close to
the ground. In Hospet Taluk, the groundwater level
has been measured at 4.70 mtrs in 2008. It means the
depth of ground soil is extremely low to efficiently filter
and retain chemical products before reaching and
contaminating the groundwater aquifer.

1.436 tonnes
3,121 tonnes

* Risk for Human Health

Many countries have banned some pesticides
suspected to be unsafe for population while,
unfortunately, they are still used in India. According
to the World Resource Institute, human exposure to
pesticides in India is one of the highest in the world.*
Excess use of chemical products without careful
handling can lead to water and soil contamination,
may directly poison human beings and increase health

Pesticides cycle


1,443 tonnes

Source: Bellary District

As highlighted by the GoK report, chemical fertilisers

use is increasing as the crop production practices such
as use of high yielding varieties and intensive crop
husbandry are very remunerative for farmers.
The increasing trend in the use of chemicals fertilisers
and pesticides in the crop production constitutes one
of the major environmental concerns that can directly
affect soil, water resources and community health.
Overuse of pesticides and fertilizers is common as
farmers usually believe that their crops are better
protected with more chemicals products. However, over
a period of time, their continuous usage makes the
pests immune to the chemical products themselves,
implying a further increase in the amount of pesticides
and fertilisers used.

* Risk of Land Degradation and Soil

Contamination of soil due to chemicals and fertilizers is
also a serious threat leading to the land degradation.
The use of pesticides kill all kind of microbes (even
beneficial) in the soil which cause loss of fertility and
decrease in the agricultural yield.

* Vulnerability of Farmers and Labourers,

Farmers and daily labourers who handle pesticides and
chemical products lack awareness on risk of soil and
water contamination. They spread these products near
wells and river without realising the impact on and the
risk of contamination to water sources.
Furthermore, increased use of pesticides and fertilisers
has also increased the amount spent by farmers to buy
these products, severely increasing the indebetness of
farmers and their vulnerability.


Resources or Related Stakeholders

State Department of Agriculture, University of
Agricultural Sciences, MS Swaminathan Foundation

Use of
Pesticides and

Decrease of

Land Degradation
Water and Soil


Timbaktu Organic - Anantapur District
Anantapur District of Andra Pradesh is infamous for its droughts and farmer suicides. Agriculture here is largely
rainfed and over the years the land has become degraded by the excessive use of chemicals and continuous
groundnut mono-cropping.
Timbaktu Organic is a collaborative venture of Timbaktu Collective, a non-profit organisation, and Adisakthi MACS,
a rural womens cooperative society. It aims at reversing the monocropped ground nut and chemical inputs based
farming system into a diversified organic inputs based system, simultaneously impacting the health of the soil,
environment and the farmers.
Village level farmer groups anchor the organic farming work including activities such as field selection, training,
organic inputs mobilisation, documentation of organic practices adopted, mid and end-season review, etc.
Farmers are now using neem, cow urine and dung, garlic and chilli extract, farmyard manure, compost, tank silt,
biofertilisers, mechanical picking, grow border and trap crops. They adopt mixed cropping and crop rotation as
methods to control, prevent pests and diseases and to enhance soil fertility. No chemicals are used anymore during
growing, procurement, storage, processing and packing of the produce.

While encouraging traditional agricultural practices, it
is equally important to increase awareness regarding
sustainable agricultural practices.

* Raise awareness on organic farming

In many places, a lack of awareness about pesticide
handling and storage is part of the risk of soil, water and
human contamination. Farmers still largely believe that
pesticides and chemicals fertilizers are the only way to
protect their crops.
It becomes critical to make farmers and labourers aware
on the medium and long-term impacts of these chemical
polluants. Risks of water and soil contamination and risk
for human contamination while handling of pesticides
and chemicals fertilisers should be raised.
Many institutions (such as the University of Agricultural
Science) or NGOs are promoting organic farming all
over the country or the State. By inviting one of them,
the HWHAMA should organise a public program on the
issue to raise awareness among farmers and initiate
new sustainable agricultural practices.

Related Authorities
* Make agriculture sustainable by using
bio-pesticides and organic fertilisers
Preventives measures need to be undertaken to
gradually decrease the use of chemicals fertilisers and
pesticides and promote the bio-pesticides and organic
One of the great opportunity would be the use of
organics, farm yard manure, compost and biofertlizers
as nutrient. Up to 50% of the fertilizer use could be
replaced with the use of farm yard manure / compost
in a variety of soils. Use of organic manures not only
reduces the use of chemical fertilizers substantially but
also provides primary and secondary nutrients. The
use of compost and farm manure also improve the
soilsphysical condition and crop yields on a long-term
basis. It also improves the moisture holding capacity of
soils. It can also help to reduce the salinity of soil.
Compost of organic waste is usually organised at
the individual level but it could have greater impact if
planned at the Panchayat or Gram Panchayat level.
Such initiative could be partnered with tourism facilities.
hotels and restaurants which generate large quantities
of organic waste.


State Department of Agriculture / Bellary and Koppal

District / Gram Panchayats / University of Agricultural
University of Agricultural Science Research on Organic Farming
The University of Agricultural Sciences Bangalore
contributes to organic farming, biofuels, biopesticides,
biocontrol measures which are cost effective.
For instance, ARS, Naganahalli has been converted
to a Model Organic Farming Station with emphasis
on IFS,Rain Water Harvesting & Recycling,Organic
Seed Production & Scientific Recycling of Wastes from
Crops & Animals.
A model on ragi based Organic Farm has been
Established at GKVK.
Organic Farming Centre at ZARS, Navile, Shimoga is
being established as Center of Excellence on Organic
Farming Research as well as Demonstration and to
document all indigenous organic practices followed in
various crops , cropping systems and farming systems
both under rainfed and irrigated eco-system.


Vicious circle of chemical polluants


Ensure compatibilty between agricultural practices and heritage

Context and Issues


In the Hampi WHS, a group of fifty-six monuments come

under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India
(ASI) and the remaining monuments are under the protection
of its State Counterpart, the State Department of Archaeology
and Museums. Though a large part of heritage has already
been recorded by the ASI and its state counterpart, it
is assumed that many buried monuments are yet to be

*Anticipate future excavations

Today, deserted areas within the urban core are also

used for dry farming by the local inhabitants that may
compromise the integrity of buried structures.
Being a living heritage site, heritage preservation and
excavtion should not compromise farming activities. In a
similar vein, agricultural practices should be compatible
with heritage requirements so to not compromise the
integrity and authenticity of the site.

Between Dandanayaka Enclosure and Underground Shiva

Given the importance of the Vijayanagara Empire, it is

assumed that many buried sites / monuments remain
to be explored / excavated.
Close coordination between ASI, DAM and HWHAMA
is needed to map future excavations in the short,
medium and long-term and assess how these
excavations will impact farming activities.

* Do not compromise historic and visual

Though not located within heritage precinct,
agricultural fields, especially plantation, may obstruct
and screen physical and visual linkages. Proper
measures should be defined to re-establish linkages
while making agricultural practise compatible with

The coconut plantation located between the Dandanayaka

Enclosure and the Underground Shiva temple has to be cleared
since its a major visual barrier between the two monuments.
The plantation area should be kept open for excavation, since
many buried structures are assumed present.
Pattabhirama Temple

*Sustain farmerslivelihood
Heritage preservation should not, in any case, impact
farming livelihood by forbidding farmers to grow
crops. If an agricultural area is identified as impacting
heritage precint, negotiation and discussion should
be initiated with farmers to ensure they will continue
to be engaged in gainful employment in their
traditional sectors.

View towards privately owned coconut farm between the

Pattabhirama Temple and the Temple Tank.The dense trees
have to be removed to be able to visually and physically
establish the linkage between the temple and the tank.
Thousand Pillars Temple

The redefinition of farmland boundaries should

necessarily result from a participatory process
between farmers, ASI or DAM, HWHAMA and the
Local Bodies.

* Define agricultural land use compatible with


Resources or Related Stakeholders

UNESCO, ASI, State Department of Archaeology and
Museums, State Department of Agriculture, University of
Agricultural Sciences

In the areas where agriculture may impact heritage

(future excavations, physical or visual linkages),
proper land-use and measures should guide farming
Wet crops should be avoided where buried
monuments are suspected.
The amount of pesticides and chemicals fertilisers
should be reduced as far as possible.
Only crops with low visual impact should be grown
(ragi, pulses, etc).

View of ruins of the Thousand Pillars Temple where coconut

trees and farming activities can damage heritage as further
buried monuments are assumed present.



Agriculture in India is characterized by certain

features, prominent among which is the scattered noncontiguous unfenced fields and farmsteads clustered
around rural villages. This arrangement involving
fragmented, unfenced fields and clustered farmsteads
stands in contrast to another system prevailing in the
Europe or USA where compact farms, fenced fields and
isolated farmsteads with single-family dwellings are
common. Indian villages are of great importance as a
center of agricultural operation, residence and social
activities(Pradyumna P. Karan)

Scattered development in farming areas removes

agricultural land from production both directly and
indirectly. Development directly removes the agricultural
productivity on which it is built. Indirectly, it may
force nearby farmers to abandon agriculture due to
increased traffic, tresspassing and pilferage by nonfarm residents, by increased dust, smells, sprays, and
noise and specially due to rising land values and higher
property taxes.

As described above, indian agriculture and settlements

are spatially, economically and socially connected.
Contrary to many other countries, farmers are not
dispersed but mostly concentrated within villages and
thus participate directly in the economic and social life
of the settlement. This socio-economic organisation
has shaped the visual quality of the area by preventing
farms from being dispersed in the landscape.

Given tourism and development pressures, the existing
unity of landscape may be compromised by the
development of dispersed buildings. Indeed, much of
the scattered tourism development may be attracted
to agricultural lands whose physical characteristics are
generally excellent for building and benefit from nice
views and vistas. Allowing tourism facilities such as
hotels or guest houses in remote areas will disturb the
existing balance between agricultural and habitation

In this context, it becomes critical to prevent scattered

development which will fragment the existing
landscape. To prevent such damages, farming should
be envisaged as an economic activity that has immense
environmental, aesthetic and social implications.

Resources or Related Stakeholders

The HWHAMA and the Local Bodies must develop,

implement and enforce multiple mechanisms for the
effective preservation of productive agricultural land (i.e.
urban growth boundaries, purchase of development
rights, exclusive agricultural zoning, etc).
Farmers may be attracted by higher land values. Even
though land-holding is typically small and marginal (i.e.
below 2 ha). Any small change in land-use will fragment the
site and the overall agricultural dynamic. Agricultural land
should be protected and preserved in large contiguous
blocks in order to maintain a critical mass of working farms.
The development of tourism facilities (such as hotels,
resorts) and non-compatible uses within agricultural
areas should be discouraged;
Agricultural land preservation must be distinguished
from open space preservation and must be viewed as
protecting commercially viable farms and productive
agricultural land which incidentally provides open space

State Department of Town and Country Planning, District

Planning Committees

Impacts of scattered development on landscape

France - Beaujolais

In addition, agricultural landscape is characterised by

vegetal fences that visually mark fieldsboundaries. For
instance, coconut trees are often planted along channel
streams - for irrigation purposes - and thus help define
to the visual symphony of high and low crops.
The introduction of fenced development, often
demarcated by walls, will definitely damage the visual
quality and the integrity of the site.

Beaujolais is an agricultural and

wine-growing area located close
to Lyon, France.
Even though farms are
traditionnally isolated from
settlements, the lack of proper
land-use regulations and
landscape preservation has
led to increased scattered
developments such as tourism
facilities, individual houses
within remote areas, etc. Such
development is now fragmenting
the unity of landscape.

Existing settlment
Tourism facilities
Scattered farms and
individual houses


Prevent scattered development from fragmenting agriculture and landscape


Virupapuragudda Island and

its development
River edge

Mango Tree
River edge


Definition & Purposes

Biodiversity or biological diversity comprises of

the complete range of living organisms found
within a specified geographic region. The term
ecosystem is defined as a community of living
organisms and their interaction with the nonliving components associated with a speficic
While the issues of biodiversity or ecosystems
may be quite complex to handle, the ecosystem
services provided by this biodiverisity are quite
vital for our very survival:
- For instance, the quality of air we breathe is
a product of photosynthesis by green plants;
plants consume carbon dioxide, expel oxygen
and store the carbon
- Insects and bacteria help in decomposition
of waste and enrich soils that will be used for
agricultural purposes,
- Potential crop pests are also controlled by a
variety of natural organisms, including insects,
birds and fungi. These natural pesticides
are in many ways superior to their chemicals
equivalents, since pests can often develop
resistance to chemical controls.
It is quite critical to understand that each living
specimen, no matter how small, has an important
role to play in the ecological chain. The extensive
diversity of biological organisms contributes to the
balance of natural environment.
If a single living species is likely to disappear or
be threatened, the whole chain will be impacted;
nature should not be considered as a static entity
but as a dynamic phenomenon.
Adverse human impacts on biodiversity occur
in very different ways: habitat-destruction, over
harvesting, climate change, environmental
pollution (air pollution, eutrophication, acid rain),
introductions of non-native species. All these
threats need to be carefully understood to avoid
depletion of natural capital embedded in the

Limitations of this section

The non-availability of primary data for the Hampi
region makes the analysis of biodiversity issues difficult.
Assessment of biodiversity patterns should result from
a scientific process that encompasses many stages
which are not the scope of this present study.
The Karnataka Biodiversity Board is mandated to
document and assess the complete biodiversity profile
of the State . The board is currently in the process of
providing an extensive compilation of characteristics of
the fauna and flora present in the state.
For instance, the Karnataka Biodiversity Board has
recently assessed the biodiversity patterns of the
Sindigheri Gram Panchayat, located in Bellary Taluk.
Even with such close geographical proximity, it would
not be prudent interpolate these technical details on
to the Hampi WHS. Variations in the micro and meso
landform characteristics renders the two ecosystems as
quite different from each other.

In addition, the construction of Tunghabadra Dam in the

1950s brought water where it was not possible before.
It has changed the hydrological profile of the area and
has changaed the characteristics of the ecosystems.
In this context, the present section aims at highlighting
the threats faced by the biodiversity in the region.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of data available, it does
not attempt at a compilation of an exhaustive list of the
endemic and exotic fauna and flora found in the area.
Two major guidelines that have been defined are:
Conservation of ecological sensitive areas like the
Viruppapugadda Island and the river edge,
Protecting the site from introduction of Non-Native

Threats on existing biodiversity

Over exploitation of natural resources or

Climate change and the recurrence of flood or

drought episodes are likely to have considerable
impacts on most ecosystems. By becoming drier
or more wet, the evolution of climate will change
the natural limits for species and hence their
habitat spread, specially for river edge or valley
ecosystems. Migration of fauna and spread of
flora in response to these changing conditions
is predicted to have an immense impact on
biodiversity and resilience of landscape systems.

Habitat destruction

As in most parts of the state and the country,

biodiversity of the Hampi region is under severe
stress, primarily due to human activity and
interventions such as:

New development or infrastructure like construction of

roads, canals, dam and housing constitutes one of the
most important threats to biodiversity as it leads to large
scale destruction of habitats.

Habitat destruction and fragmentation

Over exploitation of natural resources, and over
Environmental pollution

A habitat (which is Latin for it inhabits) is an ecological

or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular
species of animal, plant or other type of organism. It is
the natural environment in which an organism lives, or
the physical environment that surrounds (influences and
is utilized by) a species population.

As a result, when development - large-scale agriculture,

settlements, roads - sprawls across landscapes,
existing habitats are fragmented and behave like
islands. As a consequence, these fragmented areas
lose their biological diversity necessary for survival and
the health of the entire ecosystem is compromised.

Over harvesting or over-exploitation of natural resources

is also a major threat to biodiversity. Human activities
such as agriculture initiate a rate of exploitation that far
exceeds the regeneration capacity of natural cycles.
It is indeed critical to respect the renewal capacity
of natural resource cycles, especially soil. By overexploiting or over-harvesting, soil becomes infertile and
thus compromise farmers livelihood.
It is obvious that in an inhabited area like the Hampi
WHS, preservation of biodiversity cannot possibly
be acheived by keeping populations away from their
environment, especially when they depend on natural
resources for their livelihood.

Eutrophication of water bodies

Introduction of non-native / invasive species
into ecosystems.



Connect open-spaces as a network to

promote ecological corridors and avoid
of habitat

Promote the use of organic fertilizers to

preserve soil fertility and
sustain agriculture


Environmental Pollution

Introduction of non-native species


Environmental pollution is generated by the introduction

of any substance (nutrients) or materials to the
environment at a rate faster than can be absorbed in a
natural manner.

A major contributor to habitat loss is the introduction of

exotic species into local environments. Typically, most
exotic species introduced either for their aesthetic or
commercial values quickly become invasive, taking
over the natural regenerative capacities of the native

Eutrophication happens with an excessive discharge of

different nutrients (due to release of sewage, agriculture
water run-off carrying fertilizers) in the water.

For instance, sewage can become a serious pollutant,

menacing health and causing the depletion of oxygen in
water bodies.
This pollution can severely impact the resistance of
ecosystems by reducing their absorptive capacities,
damaging vegetation, and causing the more sensitive of
these species to disappear.
Waste dumping, unregulated sewage discharge,
release of chemicals products or polluants in the
environment or water bodies needs to be urgently
addressed, managed and regulated.

These non-native species cause a host of both short

term and long term problems including increased
depletion of subsoil water, reduced soil health,
increased erosion, etc. Large scale invasion of exotic
vegetation such as acacia, eucalyptus, parthenium, etc
typically undermines the faunal health of the region,
severely impacting insect abd bird life.
It is imperative that both public agencies as well as the
community is educated on the dangers of uninhibited
spread of exotic species and programs to encourage
propogation of hardy, native species are undertaken.

These nutrients impose an excessive demand on the

oxygen content of the water, encouraging excessive
growth of plants and algae and reducing the quality of
water, resulting in the chemical-biological death of a
water body.
Both natural and man-made water bodies can be
affected by excessive nutrient inflow. Many reservoirs
serving essential uses such as public water supplies
and irrigation are among the most affected by
eutrophication since they are located close to
Potentially sensitive water bodies, streams and water
courses needs to be identified and monitored to prevent
build up of eutrophication agents in the environment.




Manage liquid and solid waste

and regulate flow of nutrients into water

Stop / discourage planting of nvasive /

exotic species; propogate use of native
species of vegetation

Monitor and control nutrient flow in water

courses; control and reduce eutrophication
process in water bodies.



Preserve the ecological sensitive areas like the Virupapuragadda Island and the river

The construction of the Tunghabadra Dam has

changed the hydrologic profile of the area in an
irreversible manner. However, the river edges along the
Tunghabadra continue to display significant diversity
and richness both in in the natural as well as the
cultural resources.
The deteremining factors that has helped the river
retain its unique characteristics include a highly varying
boulder and rock strewn edge, the river bed and banks
covered by large stretches of sheet rocks, the formation
of islands - both seasonal and permanent, densely
vegetated edges and lastly, the presence of both small
and large heritage structures along the river front.
The presence of large islands like the Virupapuragadda
are extremely critical in maintaining both the ecological
balance as well as the cultural sanctity of the site.
Isolation from the mainland with limited access means
that the ecological systems of the island can remain
undisturbed and flourish following the natural cycles.
Perversely, it is this very isolation that is now causing
the destruction of the island system.

Due to its obvious aesthetic and natural values
(calmess, proximity with the river edge and the
monuments, visual quality, etc), Virupapuragadda
island has been hot-bed of uncontrolled tourism
development, specially so in the last five years.
For instance, as highlighted during the tourism survey
conducted by HCIC, TargetEuro in 2009, the island
houses now:
24 accomodations with 381 rooms and 702 beds,
35 restaurants,
26 shops.

Unfortunately, island like the Viruppapugadda or

river edge are also unique in their vulnerability
which is increased by their isolation. Indeed, islands
characteristics and the way they are isolated renders
them more fragile:
Tightly bound space limits the natural carrying
capacity for human and tourism activity. This carrying
capacity shall be defined keeping in mind the natural
ability of the island to support human activities
and absorb the pollution generated. In the case of
Virupapuragadda, the increasing amount of waste both solid and liquid - generated by tourism activities is
clearly much higher than the natural carrying capacity
of the site.
Limitation of natural resources makes the overexploitation and degradation to be apparent much
more sharply than in other ecosystems.
The scarcity of water generates immense stress on
environmental as well as human health.
Ecological habitat might change due to intensive
pressure from invasive species. The negative impact of
non-native species is stronger on the island due to the
fragility of native species,
Increasing traffic from and towards the island
increases the risk of diffuse pollution in the river.

Important motorized traffic and amount of waste generated

by the recent development on the Virupapuragadda Island.

None of the developments on the island has any

prior authorisation of the Local Gram Panchayats
or the HWHAMA. Because these developments are
unregulated and completely illegal, the local bodies
do not benefit in any manner in the way of taxes, etc
but are victimized with the problems of waste and
sanitation generated by these illegal settlements. Waste
is dumped on village commons and sewage is led
directly to the river without any treatment.

Keeping in mind the above issues, it becomes critical to
ensure the development on the Virupapuragadda Island
does not overtake its natural carrying capacity.
In order to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity
loss there is a critical imperative to address the
conservation challenges of Virupapuragadda
In a more optimistic perspective, islands such as
the Virupapuragadda one, provide an opportunity to
enforce preservation and prevention programs relatively
easier due to its small size and isolation.
In this context, it is recommended to make sensitive
ecological areas like the Virupapuragadda island and
the river edge as reserve area non-suitable for any
kind of development, construction or activity. These
ecologically sensitive areas should be preserved for
posterity as natural and cultural treasures that would
otherwise be easily lost forever.
The identification of Viruppapugadda island as
a reserve area will help combat invasive species
introduced there and promote the natural regeneration
of endemic species.
The implementation of such regulation can succeed
only if the local needs are understood and addressed
adequately. It is critical that local communities who have
traditionally depended on the islands resources are not
deprived of their livelihood.
Besides addressing biodiversity, such regulation will be
efficient only if resettlement of inhabitants and activities
are enabled through an integrated consultation process.




The Hampi region is characterised as a dry and rocky

plateau. Even though the annual rainfall is adequate
to support a basic agricultural livelihood, it is not
substantial enough to maintain a perpetual green
landscape throughout the year. There is a fairly wide
spectrum of native vegetation and agricultural crops
that can be sustained in this specific landscape (
based on soil, rainfall, temperature, etc) and such a
profile should be exploited to develop the region in a
sustainable and non-exploitative manner.

When non-native or alien species enter into an

ecosystem, they can :
disrupt the natural balance
reduce biodiversity
degrade habitats
alter native genetic diversity
alter the water regime
increase soil erosion
decrease soil fertility
transmit exotic diseases to native species
reduce breeding and nesting habitats, etc.

Regional ecosystems have developed their own natural

balance and both native fauna and flora established
within these ecosystems have found this balance
suitable for survival. Native biodiversity could be
threatened by the introduction of new and invasive
species which tend to colonize over native species,
impacting natural cycles and the existing landscape
When non-native species from other ecosystems are
introduced, they negatively impact the delicate balance
created and maintained by the established plants
and animals, consequently threatening the whole
The term non-native or invasive refers to species that
do not have an ecological origin within the region. They
are typically of exotic stock originating in a completely
different bio-climatic zone. Even where species have
become naturalized over decads, or in some cases
centuries, they essentially remain outsiders to the
intricate web of the ecosystem.

If the issue of non-native species remains unchecked,

there is bound to be an uncontrolled growth leading to
ecological catastrophe. In their new non-native habitat
there would have fewer predators or diseases, placing
few limits on their growth and spread.
While it is true that not all non-native species are harmul
or invasive, if left unchecked, they tend to completely
overwhelm the natural native environment, ultimately
changing the balance of soil, water, vegetation and
With the increased growth of tourism and its attendant
development, there is a tendency to bring in non-native
species for their visual appeal, immediate commercial
gain, exotic value, etc. Besides threatening the endemic
ecosystem balance, the multiplication of non-native
species leads to a standardisation of landscape that
has little meaning in the regional context. It should be
understood by all the stakeholders that the climate of
Hampi is not conducive for maintaining a perpetual
green landscape through the year.
It is important to highlight that non-native species
do not necessarily come from far away lands. They
may come from neighboring areas - and thus do not
look different. But because they come from different
ecosystems, they may impact existing biodiversity


The lack of scientific data on the extent of native and

non-native species in the Hampi Region makes the
survey of native species complex.
While not providing an exhaustive assessment, following
is an illustrative list of exotic or non-native species that
have been noticed in the area and that does not belong
to the region characteristics.
The introduction and development of these species
should be strictly controlled to avoid any form of
colonization of native species.


Preserve the site from non-native species


Old bridge ruins

Anjanadri Hills

Purandara mantapa
Tungabhadra River


Definition & Purposes

Spatial Organisation
Spatial organisation refers to the arrangement of
physical objects and settlements within a specific
area. For the purpose of this study, the analysis
of spatial organisation focuses on the built fabric
and its relationship to the natural environment.
The analysis of the physical organisation of some
major precincts developed during Vijaynagar
Period provides us an opportunity to examine the
linkages between natural and built environment.
Understanding historical development and its
inter-dependence with the natural environment
is invaluable in arriving at a framework that
effectively addresses contemporary requirements
and challenges.
For instance, Pattabhirama Precinct which is
located on the East of Kamalapura town poses
several critical challenges that forces proposals
and solutions that addresses the issues of local
development and heritage preservation in a
comprehensive manner.

The built fabric of Hampi WHA and its relation to the

larger landscape systems constitute an illuminating
example of a bustling metropolis in perfect sync with
its immediate natural environment.
Two overarching themes bind the landscape
decoding of Hampi. First, that the operational field
of Hampi performs as a synthetic and multi-scalar
terrain that is associated through hierarchical
associations; second it enables the recognition of
landscape infrastructure as the primary ordering of
the city.
The decoding of such relationships across the
site offers a model of study to perceive as well as
conceive terrains by focusing on the establishment
of operative systems of abstract relationships:
artificial ecologies that can traverse disparate scales
and areas of knowledge.
The landscape of Hampi thus transcends towards
performing through the notion of the terra fluxus
which uses territories and potential instead of
program, adaptable systems instead of rigid

structures as a better and more sustainable way to

organize space.
This open-ended and processual terrain is examined
to perform through the underlying water management
system which generates three mutually exclusive, yet
integrated, operational layers.
The first is the rocky terrain which performs as sources
that initiate the nestling of the secondary lay - the
precincts which acts as basins that channelize and
store the water to organize its spatial tectonics.
Productive landscapes are the third - which act as flows
that maintain their own identity and acts as thresholds
that both allow and limit possibilities of integration of
water resource management from both the domains of
landscape and urbanism.
The performance of these layers in the larger context
forms an integral part in formulating the heritage of
the site. Such decoding of terrain intelligence and
comprehensive understanding of landscape systems
are often missing and thus limits the prospective
capacity to anticipate and forecast changes.

Such territorial understanding along with key parameters

of the Vijaynagara urban systems decentralised
but dense urban settlements, nestled relationship to
landscape systems, systemic integration of natural
resource management within the urban fabric, complete
water security, ensuring integration of livelihood and
food security retain their relevance in contemporary
settlement design and in themselves should influence
the local planning process.
The main issue that emerges here is the reconciliation
between the contemporary requirements and uses and
the heritage significance of the place. How does one
include all the components of heritage, i.e. built, natural
and living, within the framework of planning process ?
Indeed, while it is easier to indicate location of built
heritage, natural and living heritage result from a more
subjective and sensitive approach which cannot be
fully summarized in a land-use regulations plan but
which shall be part of a strategic vision of development
having derived from larger participatory and inclusive

Royal Enclosure
Spatial Organisation
The fortified area had been the seat of power of the
Vijayanagara empire. Sprawling over many hundreds square
metres, this fortified area is scattered with a number of
interesting relics. The Royal Centre occupies the western end
of the Urban Core. The roughly ovoid zone, narrower to the
Southwest and opening to northeast is contained within its
own arc of fort walls, though these are no longer complete.
Large gateways leading into the Royal Centre stand to the
east, now forlorn in the middle of the fields. The Royal Centre
is where the Vijayanagara kings and their private households
lived and conducted the daily business of ceremony and
government. A good deal of the zone is subdivided into
irregular interlocking compounds by high slender walls built
of tightly fitted granite blocks that face a rubble core.
The Hazara Rama temple, which served as a royal chapel,
is the hub of the enclosures of the Royal Centre. One of the
principal roads of the city that runs to the northeast from the
temple, through a gateway in the enclosure wall, is lined with
lesser shrines.
The compound southeast of the Hazara Rama temple
is linked with the public and ceremonial life of the
Vijayanagara kings. Here can be seen the basement of an
extensive audience hall. There are 100 stone footings for
columns, presumably made of timber, than have long ago
disappeared. The nearby multi-storeyed Great Platform,
popularly associated with the Mahanavami festival stands
nearby. Its lowest granite stages are covered with animated
reliefs protraying the life of the Vijayanagar kings. A stepped
tank immediately to the south, and other nearby bathing
places, were probably used on particular festival occasions.
A short distance to the southeast of this enclosure stands the
queensbath, probably intended for the amusement of the
Vijayanagara king and his courtiers. Built in a quasi-islamic
style characteristic of Vijayanagara courtly architecture, it has
an ornate interior arcade with balconies running around a
sunken square pool.
Immediately outside this enclosure are the Elephant Stables.
These comprise a long line of eleven chambers roofed by
alternating vaults and domes in a distinct islamic style. These
face west onto an open ground where troops and animals
would have paraded. On the north side of the parade ground
is a building with a high arcaded porch and an interior court,
possibly used to view military displays in front and martial
entertainments such as wrestling and boxing matches inside
(Fritz and G. Michell)

Fig: Plan and picture of the spatial organisation of the Royal Enclosure


Virupaksha + Achyutraya +Krishnapura

Spatial organisation
It is believed that this temple has been functioning
uninterruptedly ever since its inception in the 7th century AD.
The original worship place was only a few separate humble
shrines (believed to be as old as 7th Century) housing the
image of the god and the goddesses. Over the centuries
the temple gradually expanded into a sprawling complex
with many sub-shrines, pillared halls, flag posts, lamp posts,
towered gateways and even a large temple kitchen. This
temple is located on the south bank of the river Tungabhadra.
This area in general has been an important pilgrimage centre
for the worshipers of Lord Siva. It is indeed the most ancient,
most sacred and most lavishly planned spot at Hampi and the
best preserved of the Vijayanagara Period. Its earliar name
was Pampatirtha (689 AD) and by 1018 AD it had grown into
Pampapura. Between 7th and 13th century, its fame spread
under various names. By archival records, in the year 1200
ad, there was a brimming settlement of Sivasaranas called
Sivapura attached to the Virupaksha temple complex. It
is obvious that what was called as Pampa during the 7th
century developed itself into Pampatirtha and Virupakshatirtha
subsequently and further expanded into a town named
as Pampapura by about 11-12th century and came to be
popularly known as Hampi by the beginning of the 13th
During the late 13th and 14th century, the place begun
to be known by different names like Hosapattana and
Virupakshapattana, which indicate either the rise of a new
township or an extension of an existing settlement under new
Records state that this hub was established in 1534. The
Krishnapura and Achyutapura and a dozen of various other
temple complexes were getting established at this period, by
the Srivaishnavas.

Fig: Plan of the spatial organisation Virupaksha, Krishnapura and Achyutraya Precincts /
Picture from Matanga Hill towards Krishnapura and Virupaksha complexes


Before the beginning of the 16th century, the entire area

immediately south of Hemakuta was hardly anything more
than an arable piece of land, with canals making their way
from west to east. Establishing a huge Vishnu temple amidst
this, Krishnadevaraya (1509-1529) converted this place
into a temple town. Krishnapura is the first of the Vaishnava
townships established at Hampi. It extended, from north to
south over a 0.5km stretch and from west to east for a 1.2km
stretch, with their edges defined by the Raghunatha temple,
the major canal - Hiriya kaluve and the Virabhadra temple.
The Hemakuta became the dividing line between the saivite
township (Virupakshapura) and the Vaishnavite township
(Krishnapura). (Fritz and G. Michell)

Pattabhirama Precinct
Historical Linkages

Probable spatial organisation of the Pattabhirama Complex

surrounded by the Fort Wall and its domed gateway on the North and the Ancient Wall and its gate on the South

A short distance to the east of Kamalapura is the

Pattabhirama Temple, a religious complex that served
as the nucleus of a sixteenth century suburban
quarter. The temple complex is notable for its size and
completeness and is as large as the more popular
Vitthala Temple.
The Pattabhirama Temple is a major pilgrimage center
in the ruined city of Hampi. Along with the Virupaksha
and Vitthala temple, the Pattabhirama Temple embodies
the profilic temple-building ventures of the Vijayanagara
Rulers. An elevated platform to the southeast of the
town may have been used to view state ceremonies.
Known for its splendid architecture, the temple complex
is confined with a large rectangular enclosure. The
sanctum sanctorun with its axial mantapas is situated
in the centre of the courtyard. A pillared colonnade runs
along the inside of the wall round the courtyard.
A tall tower at the east end of the compound wall is
present which was meant to open to a wide chariot
street. The presence of the Pushkarni as well as
the potential street chariot allow us to think that the
complex was developed following the same spatial
organisation as that of the Vitthala Temple and
Krishnapura Temple. (Fritz and G. Michell)
The Domed Gateway which is located on the North of
the Temple is the only surviving gateway structure to
the citadel with dominical structure above it, and hence
the name. Though it no more functions as a gateway,
it is likely that the gateway was physically and visually
linked with the temple complex and its pushkarni.

View of the Domed Gateway with a minor irrigation channel on the left - The visual and physical linkages between the
gateway and the temple complex have been compromised by the wild vegetation


Pattabhirama Precinct
Modern disjunctions

Existing land use surrounding the Pattabhirama Precinct

Modern tank and canals built after the construction of the

Tunghabadra Dam in 1950s
Road towards the Power Colony that goes along the
temple complex and its pushkarni, breaking the historical
linkage of the temple and its main street.
Plantation, agricultural fields and wild vegetation surround
the complex, compromising the visual and physical linkages between monuments
Recent urban development opposite to the Temple which
is in conflict with the area of protection under the Archaoelogical Survey of India,

Quarrying activities on hills in close proximity to the temple complex, which threaten the integrity of the site while
endangering the remains of the ancient fortification wall.

View of well in the fields between the Pushkarni and the Domed Gateway, expected to be part of the system of water
bodies of the complex
Despite the significance of the complex, unchecked
modern constructions close to the site, compromising
both the visual and historical linkages of the precincts.
The construction of the modern tank and canals after the
realisation of the Tunghabadra Dam has been followed
by development of the power colony to the North-East
of the site. Furthermore, the growth of Kamalapura town
leads to the development of new urban area towards the
The most threatening issue is the activity of quarries at a
close proximity to the ancient wall and the precinct.


Pattabhirama Precinct
Boundaries of Protection
As shown on the map, monuments which come under
the Archaoelogical Survey of India are protected by
a primary ring of 100 metres where development is
prohibited and a secondary ring of 300 metres where
development is regulated.
Despite the definition of protection boundaries,
evidence - as demostrated above - shows that
development surrounding the monuments cannot be
so easily regulated. Furthermore, if the conservation
is restricted to the perimeters of protected
monuments, it confines the work to the mere
protection and restoration of the historic building.
Such an approach results in a lack of integration of
the monument within its larger context.
If handled only as an object, the protected area is
disconnected from its spatial context, compromising
both the conservation and interpretation approach.
Indeed, the way temples are located in relation with
their natural environment and urban settlements
and the manner in which people engage with these
precincts is integral to the character of heritage.
The establishment of protection boundaries based
on monuments alone severely compromises the
visual and physical linkages which are not integrated
in the interpretation process. By distinguishing
between tangible and intangible components and by
disconnecting them from its spatial context, heritage
loses its real meaning.
View of the Northern edge of the Pattabhirama temple precinct, seen from the edge of the coconut farm. Also seen is the undulating grounds where the coconut plantation is
present. The short stone wall runs along the metal barbed wire fenced which is to be removed after establishing the linkage between the temple and the Pushkarni.


Proposed land use surrounding the Pattabhirama Precinct - Hampi Master Plan

Pattabhirama Precinct
Articulation between Heritage Preservation
and Development needs
The analysis of the Pattabhirama Precinct brings
to the fore the constant conflict between issues
and demands of conservation and development,
typically seen as being mutually exclusive.
As most interventions in terms of heritage
protection are centered on monument and its
dedicated perimeter of protection which has often
nothing to do with the monument in terms of
interpretation, it leads to the lack of recognition of
the site surrounding the monument.
To balance the imperative of heritage preservation
and development needs, heritage shall not be
interpreteted merely through a building reading
but also as system that can be adapted to suit and
inform contemporary conditions in the territory in
which its placed. If not, the process of conservation
results in creating enclaves of protection and
conservation of heritage leaving huge gaps in the
development fabric.
The challenge is therefore to articulate, in a
comprehensive manner, all aspects of heritage
within its spatial context. This would then require,
to begin with, a broader definition of heritage
(connecting aspects of the built, natural and living
history) to be appropriated within the local context.

View of the water channel running in front of the Domed Gateway, feeding into the stream which runs along the high
stone wall


View of the Pattabhirama Temple and the Pushkarni

from the middle of the open farmland


Preserve the Visual Quality and long distance views

Kamalapuram Tank

As highlighted through the example of Pattabhirama Precinct, contemporary uses can

directly interfere with monuments and their vicinity especially if the process of site
interpretation does not integrate the larger landscape components and the visual linkages
as part of heritage. Though the perception of visual quality is quite subjective and influenced
by social, economic, aesthetic and beliefs factors, visual linkages between monuments,
precincts and temples are part of heritage and hence should be integrated in the
preservation process.

While being a living heritage site, regulations shall definitely not compromise
inhabitantsneeds and shall rather provide them with the sufficient facilities and
infrastructure. However, infrastructure such as new roads, building developments, farming
activities may obstruct physical and visual linkages and compromise the visual quality as
well as vistas / views.

The following map highlights the status of the main views around Kamalapura Tank and
Hampi. Some of them, as shown in the images, have already been disturbed. It is critical to
ensure that any manner of new development / interventions do not compromise the overall
visual quality of the site.
The following guidelines should be applied to maintain the vistas and long distance views in
the area:
Forbid all kind of development in the hills areas and protect boulders from destructions :
Traditionnally no construction happened on the top of hills. It is imperative to maintain the
hills as non buildable area, even for tourism and leisure purposes.


No quarrrying activities in the Hampi WHS: This includes minerals, ores, rocks, sand,
Protect the existing skyline by limiting the height of constructions for both old and new
constructions and for both permanent and temporary structures.
Preserve the river edge and water bodies with a non constructible buffer zone : no
construction shall be allowed along the river banks and water bodies and wild scenery
should be preserved to maintained visual quality and biodiversity,
Forbid constructions that will interfere with the historical visual linkages between two
monuments or two precincts.
Integrate electrical lines, pylons and antennas so as to not disturb the view of heritage
Street lighting and lighting of monuments and heritage places should be designed in a
manner the enriches the visual appeal rather than as an exercise in powerful illumination,
rendering them harsh and insensitive, as several examples on site so amply demonstrate.
Locate tourism amenities in a manner to minimize / reduce their visual impacts (scale
and design shall be defined in order to limit their visual impacts)


Critical views and vistas - Sacred Centre




Hampi Bazaar



8 Krishnapura



View and vista which are still untouched

View and vista which have started to be disturbed

View and vista which have already been disturbed
The numbers mentioned on the map refer to the pictures used to illustrate the view and vista. One
number can be used for more than one image since it refers to the same location on the map.



New development

Location of the proposed parking node: any kind of development

(parking, temporary or permanent structures) will compromise the long
distance view from Matanga Hill

View from Krishnapura Tank

View from Matanga Hill

Preserve the Visual Quality and long distance views

at the foothill
of Matanga,
whose scale
and design
obstruct the
visual linkage
between the
hill and the

New ghats built

in Hampi Bazaar
whose designs
are not rooted in
the region and
whose scale
the existing
balance of the

View from Virupapuragadda Island

Recent developments (left)
whose design do not reflect
the heritage of Hampi. Such
development should be carefully
monitored especially in Hampi
Bazaar (on right) where the vista
from Krishnapura Road should
not be further compromised.

Towards Kaddirampur

Tourism Resort - Malapanagudi


View on Hampi Bazaar from Krishnapura Temple road

Quarrying activities happening in the site and its proximity which severely compromises the vistas
From Hemakuta Hill

From Malyavanta Hill: road towards Vitthala Temple


Extensive quarrying
activities happening
between Bellary and
Hospet: monitoring
and regulations
must ensure such
extensive activities
are not allowed in the
Hampi WHS and its
immediate vicinity.

Seen either at the immediate proximity of the monuments or from a very long
distance, the presence of electrical lines and antennae are disturbing the overall
visual quality and obstructing the open landscape.
With an average height between 15 to 25 meters, the integration of the electrical
lines, pylons and antennae constitutes a critical issue to be resolved in a
comprehensive manner, to ensure both conservation of heritage as well as meeting
local needs.
On a medium and short-term perspective, infrastructure program should ensure that
the electrical lines are drawn underground.




Tourism Amenities


Street or pedestrian path lighting should be proposed

where absolutely necessary; it shall be designed in
a manner that is unobtrusive, maintaining the visual
quality of the site.
Tourism amenities and signages must be integrated to
minimize their visual impacts.
Awareness shall be developed to prevent abuse and
damage to the natural environment.



Electrical lines + Antennae


Integrate Landscape Characters in the process of Heritage Preservation




By restricting the heritage preservation and

conservation to the perimeters of protected monuments,
it limits such work to the restoration of the historic
building alone. Such an approach results in lack of
integration of the monument with its larger environment
disconnecting it from its spatial context.

Being a complex site, Hampi covers a vast living

territory and is much more than just monuments. The
fact that only a few monuments in the citadel area of
Hampi were designated World Heritage or National
Heritage without including the natural and living setting
has lead to serious site problems due to the growing
urbanization, the unplanned development and the
growing pressures from tourism.

For instance, in India, religion is completely embedded

within the cultural, natural and living traditions of
society. Temples are typically considered as heritage
from an architectural or historical perspective alone.
However, religious ceremonies and all the related social
traditions are also an integral part of the very same
heritage. The way temples are located in relation with
their natural environment and urban settlements and the
manner in which people engage with these precincts is
integral to the character of heritage.
A temple which is the centre of everyday society may be
removed from all engagement with the heritage hence
leaving the interpretation of heritage as a very truncated
one, dealing with individual monuments which could
be easily defined and catalogued to fit the rational

The challenge is therefore to articulate, in a

comprehensive manner, all aspects of heritage
within its spatial context. This would then require,
to begin with, a broader definition of heritage
(connecting aspects of the built, natural and living
history) to be appropriated within the local context.
This acknowledgement should not only include the
definition of heritage but also the practices of heritage
conservation and management.

In a living heritage site, as the Hampi WHS, it becomes

critical to articulate in a comprehensive manner the
heritage components with their spatial environment.
This approach should happen at the monuments level
- during preservation and conservation process - as
well as the larger level - during the planning process- to
ensure it will not result in creating enclaves that leave
gaps in the development fabric.
Such an understanding implies developing a
comprehensive approach that includes:
* Historic values by identifying the elements of
historical significance and ensuring that their inherent
value is restored,
* Socio-cultural values by making the monuments as
part of the town and integrating heritage component
with living areas,
* Ecological values by re-establishing the natural
and man made processes or systems like hydrology,
water systems, sacred grove, etc.

Thus by distinguishing tangible and intangible

components and by disconnecting them from its spatial
context, heritage loses its real meaning.

Resources or Related Stakeholders

UNESCO, Archaeological Survey of India, State
Department of Archaeology and Museums, HWHAMA,
Local Bodies



Spatial Organisation

* Knowledge of three-dimensional characters of the

site including topography, slopes, orientation, etc,
* Relationship between monuments and their threedimensional environment,
* Identification of valleys & ridges that influenced the
development of the site and/or used as sacred area,
* Definition of protected areas,

* Historial connection and arrangement between

the different elements of a precinct,
* Physical relationship between monuments,
* Identification of conflicts between historical
and current land use,
* Clarification of inappropriate or unregulated
development (slums, shops, infrastructure) that
obstructs the historical spatial organisation of
the site

Physical Linkages

Drainage Pattern
* Identification and understanding of water movements
and drainage systems that supplement historical water
* Identification of obstacles that obstruct the natural
water drainage and compromise the functioning of
historical water bodies,
* Watershed protection to prevent soil erosion, siltation
of water bodies, etc in order to regenerate historical
water bodies,

* Status of historic linkages (physically or

visually lost, still existing, compromised),
* Authenticity of existing linkages (risk of site
fragmentation, negation of classical axes,
distortions of ancient open spaces)
* Balance between historical circulation
patterns and contemporary mobility needs,
* Clarification of current visitor movements in
conjunction with historical movements

Visual Linkages

Water Network
* Identification and location of historical water bodies
and their connection with monuments and precincts,
* Understanding the role of water bodies in their
upstream and downstream context,
* Integration of the historical water systems with the
contemporary uses and demands,
* Prevention of pollution that may affect the water
bodies and the whole network.

* Identification of historical visual linkages

between precincts and monuments,
* Assessment of current and future fences or
obstacles (plantation, new development,etc)
that obstructs or may obstruct visual linkages,
* Clearing and re-establishment of visual
* Definition of protected corridors to preserve
visual integrity of the site


* Definition of the vegetative matrix to highlight non
native species,
* Identification of natural features that are related to
historical monuments or temples (e.g. trees),
* Redevelopment of vegetation characteristics and
species native to the region as per the ecological
setting and the historical records,
* Re-establishment of ancient gardens and groves
as per historical testimony.

* Identification of non-authentic access to the

monuments as per historical testimony,
* Clarification of inappropriate land use or
activities along the access to monuments,
* Carrying capacity of the historical precincts
* Re-establishment of ancient access and
movement around and within the monuments,
* Connection with the surroundings and
identification of adequate location for services &


Overview of landscape characters and their roles in Site Interpretation


Plan new developments sympathetic to the environment

Existing settlement



Being a living heritage site, the Hampi WHS has a

population of almost 60,000 inhabitants housed in 29
villages. Existing villages in the Hampi WHA can be
described as nucleated settlements with small lanes
and dwellings built close to each other.

The Hampi Master Plan has to provide sitespecific locations earmarked for necessary urban
development while protecting natural resources, such
as rocky hillocks, water bodies, agricultural areas,
visual corridors, etc. If growth is properly directed,
development and natural resources will not come into
conflict. If it is not, neither goal (i.e. encouraging urban
development and conservation of natural resrouces)
can be achieved. Therefore, planning documents and
urban development policies should not be independent
of natural and landscape characters but in fact, should
reflect the terrain in all development plans.

Given the population projected in the Hampi Master

Plan (+20 % per decade), urban development and
growth of settlements cannot and should not be
avoided. It will otherwise compromise the living
character of the area.
Answering the needs of local communities and
promoting a sustainable development poses an
important challenge for the HWHAMA and the Local


Dispersion of buildings or development will compromise

the area by fragmenting the landscape. To ensure
future developments are not at loggerheads with the
environmental balance of the area, specific guidelines
should be evolved to address the various conflicts
that tend to rise between development goals and
conservation agendas.

Avoid development dispersion / sprawl

Tourism pressure, lack of development regulations

and poor enforcement of planning documents are
some issues that lead to unregulated settlements.
Development in remote areas, urban sprawl, scattered
buildings are some results that may compromise the
site, damage the landscape, its visual quality and cause
stress on environmental resources.
Urban development could, however, be used as a
positive tool for the area if planned in a sustainable
manner in consonance with environmental parameters.
It is therefore critical to ensure developmental activities
are not concieved to the detriment of the larger
landscape and environment.
In addition, the pressure of tourism development
threatens to disrupt the authenticity and integrity of
the area. Demands for tourism activities/facilities may
happen in remote and fragile environments where it is
vital that impacts are kept to the minimum possible.
Long-term health and conservation of natural and
cultural heritage features should guide the development
rather than the perceived short-term demands
generated by tourism-related activities.

Promote development within existing settlement

Resources or Related Stakeholders

State Department of Town and Country Planning, District
Planning Committees, HWHAMA, Local Bodies.

Vegetation and Open Spaces

Does the proposed development impact the rocky
terrain physically or visually?
Is it compatible with the topographic constraints?
What are the visual impacts?
Will the location / siting cause problems with
service lines, roads etc, due to difficult slopes?
Will the proposed development increase soil

Are the species used in the landscape endemic?

Is there a risk of introduction of non-native
Are the proposed landscapes maintenance
Are the open-spaces connected with the larger
landscape systems?
Are the proposed landscapes ecologicaly


Does the proposed development impact the
watershed ? Will it obstruct the natural water drainage
route ?
Will it efect the regional / local drainage patterns?
Is it located in a flood prone area ?
What are the proposed measures to manage /
harvest rain water?
Will it generate pollution that may contaminate
surface and ground water?

Continuity with the Urban Fabric

Is the project connected to an existing settlement ?
Is there a risk of scattered development or sprawl?
Does the proposed development impact / disturb
agricultural / forestry boundaries?
Does the proposed development fragment existing
landscape, agricultural or forest habitats?
What is the functional linkage between the old and
new settlements?

Is the new development located close to a

heritage precinct ?
Can it potentially cause damage to the integrity
and authenticity of the heritage?
Does it obstruct traditional water networks?
Does it obstruct physical or visual linkages
between two monuments or precincts?
Are future excavations planned on the site on a
short, medium or long-term?

How accessible is the proposed site /
Will the generated traffic disturb the environment
in terms of pollution, noise, volume of traffic, etc?
Are parking places properly integrated?
How will solid waste be managed ?
Is the existing water supply sufficient for the
project ?
Is there an option to use renewable energy? What
is the visual impact of such options? (e.g. solar

Social integration

Urban Morphology
Is the new development compatible with existing
morphology ?
Does the proposed development follow local
architecture / building traditions?
Can local construction materials be encouraged?
What are the aesthetic / visual impacts of the
proposed development on the surrounding?


Is there a potential conflict between the proposed

development with the local culture?
Can it lead to disturbances (noise, smell, crowd,
etc) that will disturb local communities?
Can it involve local communities beneficially? Can
it be supplemented by local products? (e.g. cottage
/ agricultural products)
Does it promote / is sympathetic to local culture?


While prescribing closed rules to strictly control and

shape urban development will surely be detrimental
to the specificity of each site / project, the following
sections indicate the broad line of inquiry that should
be undertaken by the HWHAMA and the local bodies
so as to effectively address classical conflicts
between development, heritage and the natural


Locate resettlement projects from a sustainable perspective

Context and Issues
While the issue of unregulated development needs
to be urgently addressed, it is critical to develop a
sustainable framework for locating and designing areas
for resettlement of affected populations within the WHS.
Following are suggested guidelines that need to be
taken cognizance of while identifying lands suitable for
rehabilitation and resettlement programmes.
The areas around Kaddirampura have been used as to
demonstrate the recommendations so as to illustrate
the process more clearly and effectively, A similar and
more exhaustive process needs to followed wherever
new settlements or re-settlement sites are proposed.

Guidelines to assess the suitability

Continuity with the existing settlement

Topography and Slopes

- Rehabilitation and Resettlement programes should

be conceived in continuity with existing settlements
and not be isolated / new developments leading to
dispersed growth and urban sprawl.
- Mobility issues need to be addressed carefully,
understanding the impact of increased densities on the
existing network.
- All urban services need to be integrated between the
newly developed areas and existing settlements

- Development should be on flat or gently sloping lands

so as to minimize soil erosion and reduce impact on
natural drainage
- Boulders should be protected and not blasted,
quarried or defaced
- Natural terrain should be maintained with minimal
recourse to cutting, filling and no embankment

Natural Water Movements and Drainage

Urban Morphology

- Natural water movement and drainage patterns

should not be obstructed / impacted by development.
This is to ensure proper health of the land, watershed
performance and protect lands downstream
- Basic infrastructure such as water supply, drainage,
sanitation, etc should be planned integrally.
- A comprehensive water management system should
be conceived at the settlement level including water
harvesting, conservation, recycling and drainage.

- New developments should be designed to be

synchronous with the existing spatial fabric in terms
of roads, lanes, open spaces, etc as well as reflect the
built form of the existing settlement
- Architectural detailing, construction material, built form
and urban design of the new development should be
defined with reasonable conformity to the character of
the existing settlement

Visual Quality
Vegetation and Open-Spaces
- Open space networks should be designed to connect
natural corridors and existing green spaces
- Strict monitoring of invasive and non-native species,
- Vegetation should be proactively promoted for its
bioremediation properties including arresting silt,
absorbing pollutants and reducing run-off velocity

- The proposed built form should not obstruct and

compromise the visual quality of the site.
- The height of new constructions should be limited in
accordance with the existing spatial fabric (for both
permanent and temporary constructions) and visual
- Guidelines should also address electrical lines,
pylons, antenne, etc


Socio-economic aspects

- New development should strictly adhere to the

guidelines / boundaries of protected monuments (100
meters as prohibited area and 300 meters as regulatory
area) as stated by the ASI regulations
- Developed area should not compromise or weaken
historical visual and physical linkages between the
precincts, monuments and the natural landscape
- Projection of possible excavations in future should be
clearly earmarked in consultation with the ASI and DAM
- Historical water features including ponds, channels
and drainage links should be dealt with with the same
set of guidelines as applied to built heritage.

Before implementing the plan, the new developed area

should ensure:
- Access to education facilities (less than 2km),
- Access to health facilities (less than 5 km).
- If the resettled population is likely to lose their present
livelihood, the resettlement programmes should
envisage and integrate opportunities for new livelihood
options to minimize the stress on the resettlement


To Hampi


Existing settlement and road network


Zone 1

Satellite image

Zone 2



Watershed and natural water movements

Potential zones for new development should be identified

based on the parameters highlighted above. It should
take due note of the physical environment (topography,
drainage, soil strata), development context (existing
settlements, services and mobility infrastructure), social
context (education, health, livelihood), heritage value
(relation to monuments, possibility of buried structures,
visual and physical axes) and environmental features
(biodiversity, natural corridors, natural water bodies,
While development within the zone 1 might be envisaged
with due environmental safetys, its discontinuity with
the existing settlement will generate urban sprawl and
render it unsustainable. Basic facilities such for education
and health will not be easily accessed for the resettled
population.Scattered development will also compromise
the overall visual quality of the site.

As the proposed development in Zone 2 is envisaged

in the continuity with the existing settlement, its
morphology should follow existing characteristics of
Kadirampura village. While facilities such as school,
shops, etc will be easily accessible, basic infrastructure
such as water supply, drainage network, sanitation, etc
should be integrated with the main village. Development
should be sympathetic to the natural environment.
However, the close proximity to monuments
(Mohammadan Tombs) needs to be carefully examined
in consultation with the ASI. Development could
compromise buried heritage in the as yet unexplored
lands immediately adjacent to the tombs copmplex.
Only after ruling out such possibilities should
development interventions be allowed on the site.


Structure Edges and Boundaries (Settlement Fringes)

Context and Issues


Potential adverses effects

The formation and development of edges and

boundaries result from the interaction between dualistic
elements and functions. The place where two distinct
elements interact can become either a barrier or a filter,
giving rise to specific phenomenon.

The area where different components (such as

settlements, heritage or agriculture) are interacting is
characterised by uses, properties and rights that are
usually not well defined.

Edge between urban settlement and agriculture

In the case of the Hampi WHS, the issues of edges

and boundaries are particularly predominant between
settlements, heritage and agriculture.
The different and often contrasting components of
settlements, heritage and agriculture are continuously
interacting with each other. To consider them as
independent enclaves will ultimately lead to conflicting
and unsustainable development. The overall challenge
does not aim at freezing development / urbanisation
processes but at managing it in a more sustainable

Conflicts do occur, compromising the

development needs as well as the conservation
efforts in a manner that often leaves both sectors with
incomplete or less than satisfactory solutions.
While heritage is all too often considered purely from
a structural / building / archaeological perspective,
the significance of its setting / surrounding is too often
compromised and prone to undesirable developments
including encroachments and conflicts.

Risk of encroachments on cultivated lands that may

reduce farming activities,
Lack of progressive transition between settlement
and agriculture,
Risk of disease with chemical polluants as health
Risk of pollution of drinking water

Edge between heritage and agriculture

Risk of pollution with pesticides and chemical
fertilizers, especially where water bodies are integral
with the heriateg monuments,
Obstruction of physical and visual linkages if high
crops are cultivated,
Cultivation of certain crops demanding excess water
which can seep into the ground, damaging buried
Conflicts with farmers to acquire land for exploratory /
excavation purposes

Edge between urban settlement and heritage

Risk of encroachments in the vicinity of precincts that
could limit the access, both visual and physical,
Air, noise and visual pollution in close proximity to the
Definition of protection boundaries that can prevent
local communities from using the area as an openspace for traditional purposes.

Resources or Related Stakeholders

State Department of Town and Country Planning,
Archaeological Survey of India, State Department of
Archaeology and Museum, HWHAMA, Local Bodies


Kaddirampura as an illustration:

The Dargah structure

The Mohammadam Tomb

Three Tombs


The village of Kadirampura presents important challenges typical of the

interactions between settlements, agriculture and heritage. Mohammadan Tomb is
a site located in the south west of the Village where a group of tombs, two larger
structures and an inscription can be found. The landscape is characterised by an
undulating and open scrub land with pockets of boulders and rocks. Cultivated
lands surround the site.



Kaddirampura Village

Master Plan for Kaddirampura

Only the three main monuments are visited due to their accessibility and
better visibility. The rest of the area is not developed enough to attract tourists.
Development of connections between elements (e.g. stone paths between
monuments) would enhance the knowledge and exploration of the site while
respecting its authenticity and integrity. Gardens / plantations with traditional
vegetation remains to be developed despite evidences about ancient garden on
the inscription.
This large open area is difficult to manage without using strong barricades, since
encroachments are already rampent at the entry of the site. It will be important to
protect the site with some barriers to prevent misuse / abuse of the precint. The
protection with barriers does not aim at restricting the access to the precinct but
at demarcating the heritage area from its surrounding. It is equally important to
make thi heritage a part of the settlement, integrating the site with its surrounding
living areas. Articulation between heritage and development will ensure the right
balance is found between local requirements and conservation efforts.

Edge between heritage and settlement

Respect protection boundaries and
anticipate future excavations,
Prevent encroachments,
Assess the potential to integrate the
monuments, within the settlement,
Limit pollution (waste management, etc)

Edge between heritage and

natural environment

Envisage fencing in a manner that

do not compromise the historic
linkages with the environment,


Edge between heritage and agriculture

Avoid wet crops where buried monuments
are suspected,
Allow crops with low visual impacts (ragi,
pulse, etc) to not compromise visual
quality and linkages,
Limit the use of chemicals pollutants.


Plan and Anticipate Tourism Movements

Context and Issues


Being a historic site, recognised as a WHS since

1986, the tourism potential of the area cannot
be over stated. Considering the vital role that
tourism development plays (both in positive and
negative terms) in all World Heritage Sites, dealing
with the tourism needs and requirements, while
not compromising on local development and
environmental issues is a major challenge that the
Authority and the Local Bodies will have to accord top
priority to.

The implementation of new tourism amenities,

especially within the core area, will strongly influence
tourist movements and as a consequence requires
a close analysis of the site connectivity, impacts
on heritage (site interpretation, visual and physical
linkages), their impacts on the landscape, environment,
To ensure the sustainable integration of all the varied
nodes, it is recommended that all development
proposals be evaluated using multi-disciplinary criteria.

The influx of tourists in the small and traditional

villages can disturb and irritate local residents. They
may feel that their private lives are invaded and are
seen as mere curiousities, as when when tourists
photographing them indiscriminately.
If tourism movement is not anticipated and planned
at a larger level in close conjunction with the
environment, it could lead to detrimental impacts
such as:
Degradation of natural resources and agricultural
Conflicts with local communities and farmers,
Obstruction of visual and physical linkages in th
heritge areas,
Development that not responsive to the local
Pollution, etc.

Resources or Related Stakeholders

UNESCO, State Department of Tourism, ASI, DAM GoK, HWHAMA

Consider site interpretation and historic

linkages (both physical and visual)

The proposed tourism infrastructure should effectively

anticipate and forecast tourist movement and their
impacts. It should consider the entire circuit of arrivals,
pause points, rsting places, amenities, mode of
transport, etc, based on different types of visitor types
and the site presentation strategy.

The location of amenities to facilitate visitor movement

should be based on sensitive site interpretation and the
visitor management strategy.

The visitor management plan should effectively

integrate a structured site presentation strategy that is
based on the authenticity of the heritage sites. Such
a strategy will take into cognizance the heirarchy
and inter-relation of the various precincts and their
presentation should be structured in a manner that the
different kinds of visitors intentions are satisfactorily
met with. This includes pilgrims, casual tourists and
those seriously interested in heritage.
The tourist circuit not only addresses the heritage
precincts but all areas of tourist contact including
parking nodes, accomodation, way side facilities, etc.

Avoid conflicts with local practices

As a living cultural landscape, it is implicit that while
preservation of heritage of Outstanding Universal
Value, conservation and and tourism aspects guide
the management of the site, the development needs of
local population needs to be equally addressed.
While evolving a site presentation startegy, mobility
plans should integrate the needs of the local
communities in a manner that reduces conflict and
facilitates development.

For instance, tourists will look for parking places

closest to the monuments. The manner and the order
that they access the parking nodes will influence their
movement. If they begin by Kamalapuram node (where
they will have to buy a ticket), they would naturally
gravitate first to the royal precinct. However, a better
managed and informed circuit would mean that this
needs to be one of the last precincts on the circuit.
The issue of parking close to the Royal enclosure
needs attention. The location of the node in Kamalapur
will be a temporary stop as it is not directly connected
to any monument. The Royal Precinct is too far from
Kamalapuram node to be reached by walk. If private
vehicles are not allowed within royal precinct, eco-bus
bays should be distinctly designed to drop tourists and
pick them up with least conflict. Tourists should actively
be made aware of these measures to make their visit
least stressful and more efficient.
All new tourism amenities should ensure minimal
disruption to the ancient physical and visual linkages.
The proposed projects, linkages and amenities needs
to be integrated in a manner that duly acknowledges
these parameters. Additionally, several of the linkages
and facilities already existing on site will have to be reevaluated for their adherence to these sensibilitiess.
More importantly, the watershed, drainage and
water courses shall not be altered or interrupted
by any structures, amenities or developments(even
the temporary ones). This will ensure an effective
regeneration of historical water bodies.

Movement of tourists within the Hampi Living Heritage

Site shall be planned in a manner that causes least
interference with everyday practices of the local
community. Creating pedestrian networks along
agricultural fields in a non intrusive manner for farmers
would serve both conservation and development
Brochures, signage and information systems should be
developed to raise awareness among tourists about the
sensitivities of a living heritage site so as to respect the
culture and heritage of the region.

Ensure tourism amenities respect

vernacular traditions
Architectural and landscape design proposals should
reflect and respect the regional vernacular.
Architectural design of proposed structures and
amenities should be in tandem with the vernacular
traditions of the region incorporating the material,
form and aesthetics of the region in a manner that is
sympathetic and complementary.
Where proposals demand extensive paved surfaces
( parking bays, etc), effective surface water
management needs to be integrated along with
measures to minimize radiant heat gain.
Existing vegetation needs to be incorporated to
minimize felling of trees and where appropriate,
transplanted. Non-native species should be strictly
forbidden. When tourism amenities are located in
the immediate proximity of monuments precincts,
the landscape design should follow the appropriate
ecological setting and historical testimony.

Forecast long-term needs

If tourism amenities should be planned keping the
long-term development goals of the region and phased
It is critical to plan all amenities such as toilets, rinking
water, resting places, etc in an integral and holistic
manner to prevent ad hoc developments by various


Anticipate and forecast tourist movement


Preserve the area from waste dumping

Context and Issues

It is critical to structure and streamline the process
of collection and disposal of all forms of wastes,
special attention being paid to sites in and around the
monuments as well as sensitive ecological and natural
Action plans should address both the regional level to
regulate the location of waste disposal and local level to
ensure that all individuals / user groups are well aware of
their environmental responsibility.

Provide the site with integrated bins

To make sure waste is not dumped in the natural
environment, bins shall be distributed throughout the
World Heritage Site and not just within or near protected
monuments. Natural material and subtle designs
will ensure their integration in the heritage / natural

The Hampi WHS is already facing serious problems

due to indiscriminate disposal of garbage. With huge
amounts of plastic bags and bottles being dumped
within the site, informal disposal mechanisms are
causing severe damage to both the environment as
well as the visual and aesthetic qualities of the area.
It is important to note that a plastic bottle or bag will
take hundreds - sometimes thousands - of years
to decompose. Every plastic bottle, bag or sachet
thrown in the natural environment will remain there
for generations. Effective advocacy and educational
campaigns should be promulgated to ensure
responsible behaviour on the part of both local
communities and tourists.

Use organic waste as nutrient for agriculture

With the growth of tourism, the number of guest houses
and restaurants have increased in the last 5 years
generating more organic waste.
By developing an integrated approach, it provides an
opportunity to turn the abundance of organic waste
into a positive attribute to make agriculture more
The use of organic waste as nutrient for agriculture
will thus help farmers to reduce the consumption of
pesticides and chemicals fertilisers.

Himachal Pradesh,
A plastic bag free State
The Indian States of Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim,
which depend on tourism for revenue, strictly enforce
bans on plastic bags and even fine shopkeepers if any
are found on their premises.

Raise awareness of local communities AND tourists

An awareness campaign is invaluable to ensure both
local inhabitants and tourists are aware that they must
not litter the WHS. It should become a mandated task
of the security personnel to ensure adherence to nonlittering.
Example of signages that raise awareness

Himachal Pradesh has for instance, has imposed a

strict ban on the production, storage, use, sale and
distribution of all types of polythene bags made of nonbiodegradable materials. The Himachal Pradesh is now
planning to ban all plastic materials like disposable
plates, cups and glasses in the future.
Besides these state initiatives, the Municipality
of Shimla launched in April 2010, a week long
campaign to continue its efforts to rid the hills of nonbiodegradable plastic waste.
The focus of the campaign was on cleaning the hot
spots in and around major tourist destinations which
are littered with non-biodegradable waste. They stand
out like eyesores causing both environmental and
aesthetic degradation in picturesque hills. Centres
were set up for collection of the waste removed during
the campaign so that it can be recycled or put to use
like tarring of roads in mix with bitumen.

Resources or Related Stakeholders

Centre for Environment Education (CEE) South India,
Karnataka State Department of Environment and
Ecology, District of Bellary and Koppal, HWHAMA, Local
Bodies, Local Schools, etc

KidsRgreen Website
Initiative from the Centre for Environment Education

Context and Issues


Environmental education is crucial to ensure our

environment is preserved for the coming generations.
To achieve this, a manual designed for tourists,
especially children, to explain the qualities of the
natural environment and their roles and responsibilities
in order to preserve this environment is an invaluable
tool. The manual should address all aspects of waste
management , prevention of pollution, etc in a simple
and interesting narrative. It should be conceived in a
less technical manner than the existing one.

As highlighted by the Centre for Environment Education,

the primary challenge is to improve public awareness
and understanding of the environment with a view to
promote the conservation and sustainable use of nature
and natural resources, leading to a better environment
and a better quality of life.

Resources or Related Stakeholders

Centre for Environment Education (CEE) South India,
Karnataka State Department of Environment and
Ecology, HWHAMA, Local Bodies, Local Schools, etc

Education on environment encompasses a range of

actions that should target local communities, children
and tourists, each in a distinct manner.

Education for local communities

As a living heritage site, local communities are
the primary stakeholders in conservation of the
environment in the long term. Information campaigns
should be organised to make people aware of
the qualities of their environment, the threatening
issues and most importantly the solutions they can
implement at each level.

This web-based initiative is designed to facilitate

the environmental education of children in India. It
has been developed by the Centre for Environment
Education (CEE), a national institute creating
programmes and materials meant to improve public
awareness and understanding of environmental issues,
with a view to promoting the conservation and wise use
of nature and natural resources.
The purpose of KidsRgreen is to facilitate and support
learning about the environment by taking children
beyond the classroom and textbooks.
KidsRgreen is an interactive website for children who
love exploring and enquiring about the world around
them. The internet is used here as a platform to engage
children while educating them about environmental

Education for children

Educational programs could be implemented in
partnerships with local schools. It should not only
inform children but encourage them to become
passionate about their environment and the way to
preserve it. Several models could be used including
a play mode by actively involving childrens
participation in the form of drawings, games, field
visit, etc.

Education for tourists

As tourism growth stresses environmental resources,
it becomes crucial to ensure that tourists do not
disturb the environment and that they behave in a
responsible manner.
Communication tools (e.g. borchures, leaflets, etc)
must be disseminated at the visitor centre.



Example of brochures and posters disseminated to raise

environmental awareness



Raise awareness on Environment and Landscape Characters

Recommendations for further research

The landscape study has been conducted with its
own set of limitations - of both time and resources.
With the possibility of access to or availability of more
comprehensive studies, the depth and reach of the
landscape study could have been made much greater.
In this context, it is important to highlight the need for
further studies and research in the area.
The studies and research suggested are with the
intention of addressing the identified knowledge
gaps of the Vijayanagara Empire or issues related
to contemporary development issues which has not
attracted enough academic / policy attention.

Research related to the Vijayanagara Empire

Research related to Contemporary Issues

Vijayanagara Metropolis


While large volumes of research pertaining to the

architecture and archaeology are available on the Royal
Centre and the different precincts of the Sacred Centre,
a comprehensive consolidation of research on the
Vijayanagara Metropolis is still missing. This research
needs to integrate and articulate all the knowledge
systems specifically related to the urban components of
the city of Vijayanagara.

The non-availability of either primary or secondary

data on Biodiversity proved to be a severe limitation
for a comprehensive analysis of landscape.
It is recommended that a dialogue be started
with the Karnataka Biodiversity Board and the
Forest department to make a detailed mapping,
documentation and analysis of the biodiversity patterns
of the area. The study should include the larger
region for impact analysis of the Tunghabadra Dam. ,
quarrying, etc on the Biodiversity of the region.

This study should aim to understand:

- Spatial organisation of historic settlements:
besides the royal enclosure and sacred precincts,
the understanding of historic settlements (location,
urban morphology, relationships and linkages with the
prominent landmarks, etc) will add further values for
heritage preservation and future excavations.
- Intangible Heritage and its spatial relationship: Several
travellerschronicles describe the various occassions
and festivals celebrated in the city of Vijayanagara. The
relationships between these festivals and their physical
location, their inter-action with natural and man-made
elements, significance attached to natural / physical
elements / phenomena, etc, need to be documented
and mapped to better understand the Metropolis as a
whole as well as to guide further excavations.
- Agricultural practices: Little documentation is available
on the agricutlural practices and their integration with
the urban settlements of the time. There is a need to
study the historic agricultural systems and practices
from a spatial perspective (extent of agriculture areas,
patterns, etc) as well as from a social perspecive
(integration of farmers within the urban settlements,
markets, etc). This is a relationship that is unique to the
city of Vijayanagara and needs to be keenly analyzed
and understood.


Site Presentation
The manner and order that the visitors will access
different heritage precincts greatly influences the quality
and content as well as their understanding of the site.
With increasing tourist inflow, it is critical to create
and organise tourists circuits, arrival point of visitors,
their pause and stop points, etc, This is to ensure
the monuments are explored in the right hierarchy,
imparting the right understanding to the visitor without
compromising the authenticity of the site.

Visitor Management
Based on a Site Presentation Strategy, tourism
movement needs to be planned at a larger level in
close conjunction with the environment, heritage
preservation and the living settlements. Internal roads
and movements within and between precincts and the
relevant location of tourism facilities (toilets, drinking
water, etc) need to to be clearly defined and mapped.

Disaster Management
The recent floods in 2007 and 2009 have revealed
the flood vulnerability of the area. A proper Disaster
Management should be commissioned to address
flood risk (including the risk of water release from the
TB Dam), define mitigation measures for both living
settlements and monuments as well as integrate early
warning systems.

Related to the Vijayanagara Empire

Related to the Vijayanagara Empire

DAVIDSON-JENKINS D.J., The irrigation and water
supply systems of Vijayanagara, Manohar American
Institute of Indian Studies, New Delhi, 1997

THAKUR N. for the Archaeological Survey of India,

Integrated Management Plan for the Hampi World
Heritage Site,

FILLIOZAT V., Hampi Vijayanagar, Histoires et

Legendes, Editions Agamat, 2004

UNESCO, TROUILLOUD P. , Advisory mission to Hampi

World Heritage Site, Karnataka, India, Mission Report
May 2005

FRITZ J.M. and MICHELL G.editors New Light on

Hampi, Recent Research at Vijayanagara, Marg
Publications, Mumbai, 2001.

AGARWAL A, NARAIN S. Dying wisdom, rise, fall

and potential of Indias traditional water harvesting
systems, 2007 published by Centre for Science and
Environment in New Delhi
DAALGAARD T., Landscape Agroecology: managing
interactions between agriculture, nature and socioeconomy, Jan 2009
RAM SINGH S., Agro diversity and cropping pattern,

FRITZ J.M. and MICHELL G. Vijayanagara Project

Research at

VENKATEESWARAN P.A., Agriculture in South India,


R., Bio-resources and empire building: What favoured
the growth of Vijayanagara Empire? , published in
current science Vol 93, n2, July 2007, pp 140-146
HALKATTI (DR), PATIL CS, Water systems in Ancient
Vijayanagara, Journal of Archaeology for Asia and the
Pacific, June 2006
KOTRAIAH C.T.M., Irrigation system under
Vijayanagar, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums,
Mysore, 1995,
LONGHURST A.N., Hampi Ruins, described and
illustrated, Asian Educational Services, 2002
PAES D. and NUNIZ F., The Vijayanagar Empire,
Chronicles of Paes and Nuni, Asian Educational
Services, New Delhi, 2003
RANDHAWA M.S., The Hindu Empire of Vijayanagar,
AD 1336-1646, Irrigation works, crops and domestic
animals in History of Agriculture in India, Volume II,
SETTAR S., Hampi, a medieval metropolis, Kala Yatra,
Bangalore, 1990
SEWELL R., A Forgotten Empire (Vijayanagar): A
Contribution to the History of India, reprint, Asian
Educational Services, New Delhi, 2000. The classic
history of Vijayanagara, together with the Portuguese