‘Monument Mithras’ (Friends of Monuments)

Published on: 05/10/2019


Mr. Joseph Rajan Passah, General Manager, Evolve Back Resorts receiving the MOU from Shri Prahlad Singh Patel Hon. Minister for Tourism & Culture, Govt. of India

Evolve Back is proud to have been chosen as a ‘Monument Mithra’ by the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, under their ‘Adopt A Heritage’ campaign.

‘Adopt A Heritage’ is a novel campaign rolled out by the Ministry of Tourism in 2017. Its purpose is to involve the private sector in adopting one or more of the many reputed historical monuments located at various sites across the country. These adopters are given the title of ‘Monument Mithras’ (Friends of Monuments) and are to collaborate with the Archaeological Society of India in carrying out repairs, upgradation, beautification and protection of designated historical monuments and their surroundings.

When the Ministry of Tourism had included the heritage township of Hampi in Karnataka in its Adopt A Heritage campaign, it invited Evolve Back resorts to become a Monument Mithra. A vision proposal was called for in early 2018 and three monuments falling under different tourist exposure categories – green and orange – were indicated as available for adoption.

We surveyed the three monuments that were assigned to us and made a list of needed interventions in consultation with the local chapter of the Archaeological Society of India, after which we submitted our vision proposal in mid-2018.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Tourism and Evolve Back resorts was signed on the 1st of October 2019 confirming us as a certified Monument Mithra, formally entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of the following historical monuments at Hampi in partnership with the Archaeological Society of India as outlined in the vision proposal.


The Lotus Mahal, Hampi

The Lotus Mahal at Kamalapura in Hampi is a celebrated monument testifying to the artistic and architectural splendour of the Vijayanagara Empire. It is an aesthetic hybrid that borrowed freely from Sultanate and Indian styles and serves to highlight the great cultural plurality of the period and the formidable skills of the Vijayanagara artisans and builders. This unique style of architecture is better known world wide as the Vijayanagara Courtly Style.

The Lotus Mahal is also referred to as ‘Kamal Mahal’ in some of the maps, while ‘Chitrangini Mahal’ was the other name by which it was known during an earlier phase of its history.

The proposed interventions / responsibilities of Evolve Back as the Monument Mithra is to upgrade – Green space and gardens, Signages, Trash & Litter control and Night time Illumination.

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The Elephant Stables, Hampi

The Elephant Stables (Gajashala) lie outside the walled enclosure of the Zenana, to the east of the Palace of the Queens. This is also an architecturally elaborate building and a fine example of the Vijayanagara Courtly Style. It consists of eleven square chambers aligned north-south. The openings to the stables are high and arched permitting for the easy entry and exit of the big animals, though it is not clear if these stables were meant to house ceremonial or war elephants.

Proposed interventions / responsibilities as Monument Mithra is to upgrade – Green spaces, Trash & Litter control, Visitors seating & Signages

Pattabhirama Temple is a beautiful temple complex hidden away in the recesses of Kamalapura, a hidden gem awaiting exposure and exploration. This glorious temple stands in a vast courtyard with a huge pillared hall at its front with carvings typical of the Vijayanagara style. It is dedicated to Lord Rama when he was crowned King (Patta) though the main idol is missing. The style of construction is Dravidian and is in the same vein as the Vithala & Krishna temples, as is the large Pushkarini.

This temple formed the nucleus of the Varada Devi Ammal Suburb (named after Achuyutaraya’s wife) and can be dated to the 15th century.

Proposed interventions / responsibilities as Monument Mithra is to upgrade – General Upkeep of the vast temple premises, Green spaces, Trash & Litter control, Toilets & Drinking water facilities, Mobility for the differently abled and Night time Illumination of the grounds and Temple facade.

Evolve Back has always been committed to the principals of Responsible Tourism and becoming a Monument Mithra is another sign of our endeavour to contribute positively towards society.


Tejas Joseph

Tejas Joseph resides in Auroville near Puducherry and is part of a consulting group engaged in creating viable models of solar lighting for off-grid Indian villages. An avid traveler, Tejas feels a deep connection with the history and ethos of the places he visits. He is a keen observer of the winds of change that are now blowing across the physical, cultural and social landscapes of India and seeks to capture its effects in his articles, ever believing that the journey is as important as the destination, the travel as rewarding as the arrival! He is the Assoc. Director - Responsible Tourism, Evolve Back.

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