Coracle Rides at Hampi, Across Tungabhadra River

Coracle Rides at Hampi will continue.

Reading the fresh newspaper in the morning is rarely a pleasant experience these days. On 23rd Jan, the newspaper headlines read thus: Bridge at Hampi collapses, six feared dead. Just a month back we were there at Hampi, one of the World Heritage Centers in Karnataka. We were on the banks of Tungabhadra River to take a coracle ride to Anegundi, another historical place.

Coracle Rides at HampiThese shots were taken on 23rd Dec, 2008.

Coracle Rides at Hampi carrying bikes
We saw work was in full swing to complete the bridge. It was interesting watching people with two wheeler crossing the river on a coracle, the bikes, their owners all. Talking to the coracle operators we could sense their concern about their means of livelihood once the bridge construction is complete. Some of the coracle owners for generations have been doing only this, ferrying people across. They know no other vocation.

Objections to building bridge over Tungabhadra River

The UNESCO had strong objections to the construction of this bridge as this modern structure would be an eyesore to the World Heritage Site. Additionally bridging the two places would also increase the vehicular traffic which could result in slow damage of the monuments. The construction of the bridge was suspended for nine years. However work commenced in Nov 2008.

On 22nd Jan, as the concrete was being laid in the middle portion of the bridge, it collapsed dragging in few of the workers. Everything was over in seconds.” While I was there it never occurred to me to take a complete photograph of the bridge, never imagined such a tragedy would take place within a month.

My 12 year old, shocked on reading the news item asked me, “What if the accident had happened a month back?” I could just give her a hug.

“Our pleasures were simple-they included survival.”
Dwight David Eisenhower



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35 Responses to “Coracle Rides at Hampi, Across Tungabhadra River

  • Some maintenance is needed… We also had one accident some years ago with a bridge collapsing in the middle of the night; it was a nightmare…
    Have a great week!
    Blogtrotter, with some new posts for you!

  • nice pics.this place was also seen in roadies 5.0

  • i love the shots. great job.

    kung hei fat choi. (happy new year in chinese)

  • Sorry to hear of the loss of the workers killed in the accident. My condolences to their families. Makes me wonder if that bridge was supposed to be built at all! Sounds like there were several good arguments against it in the first place!

    This reminds me of Thanksgiving weekend, 1988 in a way. My brother and I had gone out shopping on Saturday, and one of the places we went to was completely destroyed by a tornado in the early hours of Monday morning. Remarkably, even though the string of tornadoes struck in the dead of night when most people were sleeping and completely by surprise (late November is well past the usual season for tornadoes!), only 4 people were killed.

    Best to you and yours on this Republic Day!

  • Very interesting post. Perhaps the old way of getting across the river is the best after all. Sometimes progress really isn’t progress.

  • I am so sorry to hear about the collapse. That is so bad that lives were lost.

  • How terrible. That’s what happens when progress is forced and people don’t really feel like doing what they are made to do.

  • George has a point.

    Couple of months ago, a flyover hat was being constructed in Delhi collapse. And there have been other instances too.

    And you are right , Indrani; news in the daily newspaper amounts to a rollcall of catastrophes.

  • Sorry to hear about the loss, great shots however, thanks for sharing.

    Regina In Pictures

  • How sad when something like that happens. It must touch you a lot deeper for having been there.

  • Wow. That is an incredible story. Very sad.

  • The motorcycles on the coracle is quite funny mix of ancient and new. Sorry about the bridge.

  • Saad..I recall taking a coracle ride near Hampi, do not recall seeing this Bridge though.

  • Pass on my hug to her as well :). I love coracle rides, though they can be scary… But what’s a dumping or two to someone who has been on a fortnight-long rafting expedition on the Brahmaputra without knowing swimming? 🙂
    Just imagine the strength of the coracles – and to think that they are hand-made! I’m proud of them.

  • Your posts are always so interesting and show the big differences in our worlds.

  • Oh my gosh! Sorry to hear that lives were lost in this tragedy.

    I find the coracle interesting. It resembles a huge basket. I would like a ride in that.

  • The building of this bridge should never have been started! Too dangerous and too ugly. The coracles are very interesting.

  • Very well written piece,supported by good pictures.

  • Very well written piece,supported by good pictures.

  • wonder what its fate will be now!

  • Wow, there’s something eerie when a place You just visited suffers from some disaster.

  • What a terrible tragedy! I’ve never seen anything like those boats either. Thanks for sharing with us. And thanks for stopping by my blog too.

  • Sorry for the sad disaster. Very interesting to see the coracle transport both humans and machines. It looked like a giant basket to me. Cool.

  • that is a horrible tragedy.
    and i find it very interesting to see people taking risks transporting their rides on a coracle.

  • Oh my, what a bad accident! I think it would be better for the community as well just to keep the local boats, but sometimes, mankind is too stressed to make everything “bigger and better”.

  • Perhaps God did not want the bridge there either.
    Lovely shots and the coracle is beautify.

  • I’m sorry to read of the loss of life. Thou it seems as if the right thing occured when the bridge collapsed. The coracle is an amazingly strong, small hand-crafted boat to carry three people and two bikes. May the people be allowed to decide.

  • Quite an unfortunate incident !

  • How sad…it’s one of those reflective moments…makes it very real to have been there! I hope they can rebuild…within themselves and that it will work out for the best (bridge or not).

  • That is truly sad for me…

  • Really bad!! We had been to Hampi too but a few years back. Unfortunately we couldnt visit Anegundi. But went for a coracle ride…And the guy who was handling the coracle made this fast spins in the water. It was thrilling.

    Why do we need a bridge when there ate coracles to ferry us across? I would anyday prefer a coracle ride to travelling over the bridge.

  • Whew… that was a close call.
    Dwight David Eisenhower – quote was so appropriate.

  • sad 🙁 when I went to hampi many years ago, we actually climbed the rocks after the coracle ride to reach the other side

  • This looks great. i love taking small trips to the river every now and then. till now, I have only been on a boat and a cruise liner . this looks fun maybe a little dangerous if one is to try it without help on the first g. But definitely worth trying.

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