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.
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