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Focus: GS-I Art and Culture, Prelims

Why in news?

  • The tourism sector continues to face a blow this holiday season, with most travellers putting off plans by choosing to stay safe in the light of COVID-19 threat and some key heritage places such as Hampi being closed for a week as part of precautionary measure.
  • Ballari Deputy Commissioner ordered the closure of heritage sites in Hampi exercising powers vested under Section 144(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure  CrPC.
  • The restrictions on entry of visitors to India has also contributed to the low footfall.
  • Tourist attractions in Kodagu too will be closed for a week.


Stone Chariot in Hampi UNESCO World Heritage
  • Hampi, also referred to as the Group of Monuments at Hampi, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in east-central Karnataka, India.
  • It was the capital of Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century.
  • Located in Karnataka near the modern-era city of Hosapete, Hampi has been described by UNESCO as an “austere, grandiose site” of more than 1,600 surviving remains of the last great Hindu kingdom in South India.
  • Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in the eastern part of central Karnataka near the state border with Andhra Pradesh.
  • The architecture is built from the abundant local stone.
  • The dominant style is Dravidian.

Stone Chariot in Hampi

  • The iconic Stone Chariot is actually a shrine dedicated to Garuda, built inside the Vittala Temple Complex.
  • The massive sculpture of Garuda, Lord Vishnu’s escort once was seated atop the chariot but it is empty at the present date.
  • The Hampi Chariot has earned its name among the other three famous stone chariots in India- One in Konark, Odissa, and the other in Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu).

Vittala Temple Complex

  • The Virupaksha temple is the oldest shrine, the principal destination for pilgrims and tourists, and remains an active Hindu worship site.
  • Parts of the Shiva, Pampa and Durga temples existed in the 11th-century; it was extended during the Vijayanagara era.
  • The temple is a collection of smaller temples, a regularly repainted, 50-metre (160 ft) high gopuram, a Hindu monastery dedicated to Vidyaranya of Advaita Vedanta tradition, a water tank (Manmatha), a community kitchen, other monuments and a 750 metres (2,460 ft)-long ruined stone market with a monolithic Nandi shrine on the east end.

What is Section 144?

Section 144: 
What it Says 
and What it 
Such orders are Issued 
ror two months at a 
time and powers are 
supoosed to De used 
in cases or urgency 
ana when a quick 
response is needed 
The Supreme Court 
has ruled that section 
144. it used 
appropriately. is not 
unconstitutional. pow- 
ers are supposed to De 
used in an emergency 
Usually seen as a law 
to ban protests In a 
certain area, the 
ambit Of section 144 
or the Criminal 
Procedure Code is 
actually much w ider 
First Introduced In 1861. the law gives 
powers to a magistrate to order a person 
to abstain from an act. which could 
obstruct or cause annoyance or injury to 
any person "lawfully employed". or pose 
"danger to human life, health or safety, or 
a disturbance or the public tranqulllitY"
  • Section 144 CrPC, a law retained from the colonial era, empowers a district magistrate, a sub-divisional magistrate or any other executive magistrate specially empowered by the state government in this behalf to issue orders to prevent and address urgent cases of apprehended danger or nuisance.
  • The magistrate has to pass a written order which may be directed against a particular individual, or to persons residing in a particular place or area, or to the public generally when frequenting or visiting a particular place or area.
  • In emergency cases, the magistrate can pass these orders without prior notice to the individual against whom the order is directed.

July 2024