Tangible and Intangible Heritage of Hampi

January 20, 2009 
Organized by the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Friends of Hampi and Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat (Bangalore), an exhibition titled 'Vijayanagara: Splendour in ruins' of rare and historic photographs from the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts collection were on view from January 10 to 22 at the Chitrakala Parishat. 

An international conference on the tangible and intangible heritage of Hampi took place from January 16 to 18, 2009 at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, IISC Campus, Bangalore. This conference aimed to explore several aspects from the tangible heritage of Hampi, such as art, architecture and material culture and the intangible heritage including performance art, to the issues related to heritage management and sustainable development through local activism as represented by the formation of the interest group Friends of Hampi. 
The aim of the conference was to cover a range of issues concerning the tangible heritage and art, architecture and painting of the Vijayanagara dynasty which flourished at the medieval site of Hampi. In addition, scientific applications in the art history and archaeology of Hampi was explored ranging from the archaeometallurgy of bronzes to the acoustics of the resonant pillars and applications of satellite imagery and digital technology, while the intangible heritage of its performance arts was also be touched upon including puppetry. 

The inaugural session covered lectures by leading experts of Hampi including a special lecture on the Alkazi collection of the first photographs of Hampi by Greenlaw, by George Michel and John Fritz, with keynote addresses by S Settar, Hon Director, IGNCA, Southern Regional Chapter and Michael Tomlan, Cornell University, USA. Sharada Srinivasan, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, presented an invocation Bharatanatyam performance exploring the theme of the resonant 'musical pillars' of the Vitthala temple, Hampi. 
Some of the other prominent guests and delegates included Anna Dallapiccola, Anila Verghese, Kathleen Morriso, S Ranganathan, Nalini Thakur, Sangeeta Jindal and Rahaab Allana, Curator, Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, Surendra Kumar and Ramesh Sirsi of Friends of Hampi. 
In an interactive session with the local body of Friends of Hampi, the pressing issues in the sustainable development and management of Hampi was brought to the fore. The cultural program on the 17th January featured an extravaganza of two local puppetry troupes from Hampi performing the local epics.  Craft from Kinhal from Crafts Council of Karnataka and artworks on Hampi were also on view. 
The program was sponsored by Government of Karnataka, INAE, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Global Heritage Fund, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Hampi Foundation, IBM, Iconanalytical and others.