Archaeology and Conversation
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Virupaksha Temple, Hampi. Photo: Sarah Kenderdine.

Excavation workers from the Archaeological Survey of India.

Since 1980 an international group of researchers has been documenting and interpreting the remains of Vijayanagara. The Vijayanagara Research Project’s investigations and interpretations, under the direction of Dr George Michell and Dr John Fritz have provided the essential background information on the history of the city and the empire of which it was the capital, the urban layout of the site, and the variety of its military, ceremonial, civic and religious architecture. The monograph series in 11 volumes collates and publishes the majority of this research, together with extensive illustrations, maps and photographic material.

VRP Research Themes

  Urban Form
  Cults and Practices
  Water Control
  Stone Technology
  Courtly Style
  Computer Modelling
  Project Publications

It is now known that the city of Vijayanagara extended well beyond the walls of the central features to encompass a number of outlying settlements, now marked by modern villages. The full extend of Hampi is being mapped in the Vijayanagara Metropolitan Survey under the direction of Carla M. Sinopoli and Kathleen D. Morrison (recent publication)

UNESCO & ASI: In 1986, UNESCO inscribed the Group of Monuments at Hampi as a World Heritage site. Administration of the site is under the direction of the Archaeological Survey of India, Circle of Karnataka. Further information here.

Other Organizations: A host of significant scholars and researchers worldwide contribute to the ever complex understanding and conservation of this unique and profound landscape. Such organisations include: Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, The Global Heritage Fund who are undertaking archaeology and conservation at the Chandraumalueshvara Temple, The World Monument Fund, ICOMOS, The Friends of Hampi and many more passionate individuals.

The central concerns for conservation are negotiating the relationships between preservation of the monuments, the local inhabitants who are dependent on farming and tourism, the impact of tourism traffic on the monuments themselves, and the deep religious significance of the site for contemporary pilgrims. The nearby Bellary mining triangle also has a dramatic impact on the greater environments of the region.