2003-04 | School of Planning and Architecture, India
Cultural Surveys for Integrated Management Plan for World Heritage Site | Hampi, India
Hampi (Kannada: ಹಂಪೆ hampe) is a village in northern Karnataka state, India. It lies within the ruins of Vijayanagara, Hampi is the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. The World Heritage Site of Hampi is located in the midst of a vast cultural region defined by various heritage components, which include temple complexes, royal structures, public buildings, traditional villages with distinct vernacular architecture, water structures such as tanks and canals. Besides these, the region has well developed sacred geography, ecological systems and local skills that have evolved in a unique natural setting of boulder landscape and Tungabhadra River.   The management plan was planned with the focus on providing protection to the significant values of the site and establishes a mechanism / procedures for carrying out various interventions, periodically as well as during emergency phases.The above to be achieved by lay down a framework of guidelines, aimed not only at preserving the historic fabric but also guiding future growth and development of the region as a whole. Tourism is an essential aspect in this. Also, with the realization that the plan needs to be futuristic in its vision and empower the local site managers to handle various situations as and when they arise.
The process started by identifying, defining and demarcating the cultural resources, understood in its totality and based on this; formulate legislation for protection of all the components and systems that contribute to the unique heritage value of the resource. Where the question of Legal protection became an essential prerequisite for making a management plan. The methodology adopted for these stages is as stated:

Reconnaissance Survey:
The site assessment was based on observations and series of informal meetings with various stakeholders, which included officials from the state and the local management authority, NGOs, local entrepreneurs and local community. The aim was to understand the current status of the site to know broad issues and concerns and also for building contacts with key resource persons.

The surveys were conducted to achieve the following objectives:
1. Identification of heritage systems and components, which define the significance of the site for protection and management.
2. Assessment of the current status of the site (in terms of present land-use, transport network, ownership, current activities for management etc.) so as to be able to analyze the current threats and risks to the site.
3. Community diagnosis to assess the social and economic profile, quality of life, perceptions, their needs and detailed stakeholder analysis to assess the needs, priorities and conflicts of various stakeholders, often with competing interests. After updating the tentative inventories, team member set out to conduct the site-work.

The inventories relate to heritage components (i.e. individual structures e.g. temple, service buildings, water tanks etc.) which will form part of the above mentioned heritage systems. Good base maps was needed to spatially locate the heritage components and record their existing status. For this purpose, we had to put in substantial efforts to have corrected scaled drawing to spatially locate the systems and components that we will identify. We have made the decision to work on maps at two levels:
- Area Level Maps
- Settlement level Maps

The recording of existing conditions was aimed at undertaking cultural resource impact analysis of present threats and future risks to the heritage systems and components (and thus to the cultural resource entity). It was also supposed to help in undertaking  ecological impact analysis to assess the impact of population
   increase, changes in land use, ownership and circulation and current development activities, tourism on the sustainability of the region. Analysis of secondary information e.g. available census data relating to demography, tourism etc. will help in doing this.

Village level studies:
Although there are 12 villages in the site, the survey team undertook detailed studies of four representative villages, namely Hampi, Kamlapura, Kadirampura and Anegoundi. The team members spent 2-3 days for working on each of these villages. Afterwards, heritage components, land-use pattern and condition were spatially located. New developments were specifically recorded to understand the current transformation processes within and around these settlements.

Community diagnosis and Stakeholder Analysis and Regional study:
This was done through questionnaires and Open-ended interviews. The stakeholder analysis was meant to assess the priorities, interests, conflicts and potentials of other stakeholders (shop owners, religious trusts, tourist guides, entrepreneurs, NGOs, ASI, State Archaeology and other public organizations).

After conducting site-work for five weeks, the information collected on site was compiled in Delhi over a period of four weeks. The following strategy was decided for compiling the information:
- Filling Inventories for Architectural, Archaeological, Vernacular and other components.
- Spatially locating information relating to typology, usage and condition of heritage components and landuse on base-maps at scales 1:2000 and 1:2500.
- Making final line drawings of village layouts and spatially locating information relating to typology, usage and condition.
- Compiling Community diagnosis, interviews with stakeholders and information at regional level.
GIS was used as important tool for analyzing information for a complex site such as Hampi. It will prove extremely helpful in taking crucial management decisions.

Outcome of the first stage analyzing Heritage Components and Systems used to define Cultural resource and Demarcation of its boundary, which should be protected as an integral cultural resource entity.

Images (left to right)

Sheet 1: Regional surveyed area map around Hampi

Sheet 2: Map of Kamlapura village