With lockdown restrictions in Karnataka easing after the second COVID-19 wave, the government is undertaking projects across the state to boost tourism. As part of the plan to increase tourist traffic, monuments at the World Heritage Site of Hampi are being illuminated at night, under the Hampi By Night initiative which is a guided tour of the famous monuments in the area. In another initiative, the tourism department has flagged off bus services to ferry visitors to the famous tourist spot of Nandi Hills, located about an hour from Bengaluru.

Hampi by Night illuminates World Heritage Site

The Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority (HWHAMA), which is the agency executing the project, aims to open the Hampi by Night tours by August 15. Funded by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), the Rs 8 crore project includes illumination of monuments in Hampi, accompanied by a musical rendition of the importance of each sculpture in Kannada, English and Hindi. Twenty monuments, including Virupaksha temple, Narasimha temple, Gejjala Mantap and Kamal Mahal, are part of the project.

HWHAMA Commissioner in-charge Siddarameshawar Swami said that the project faced certain roadblocks due to the pandemic, however, final touches and technical runs are being conducted before commercial opening. “The confirmed date will be announced soon. We are figuring out details like entry fees, show capacity, etc. This will go a long way in boosting tourist footfall after several months of dip because of lockdowns,” he said. He added that the ruins and the monuments will be enhanced with illumination and will be a unique experience every evening for tourists, the majority of whom are foreigners. Earlier, the monuments were illuminated only during the annual Hampi Utsav Festival.

Buses to ferry visitors to Nandi Hills

Two private tempo traveller buses provided by the KSTDC have started services from a check post below the Nandi Hill to the parking lot and Mayura Hotel circle on top. This aims to ferry visitors who reach via own vehicles or public transport. The service will be charged at Rs 25 per person. “The bus service is being carried out smoothly as of now. If demand increases we plan to add about three extra buses as well,” said KSTDC official Giriraja.

Source: The News Minute