Visitors were able to undertake a virtual walkthrough amid parts of the “digitally restored” world heritage site Hampi and explore its cultural and architectural richness at an exhibition that opened here on Tuesday.
Titled ‘Digital Hampi’, it also makes use of Haptic Rendering technology that lets the visitors feel the texture of the famous musical pillars of the magnificent Vittala Temple of Hampi located in Karnataka. Inaugurating the exhibition, Minister of State for Science & Technology Y S Chowdary decried the “influence of western culture” over the youth.
“Such digital initiatives will help in making the next generation aware of the the country’s rich cultural past,” he said. This “digital restoration” exemplifies the wonders that science can do, K Vijay Raghavan, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, said The two-day exhibition also throws light on the social life of the period, known for its prosperity in terms of wealth, through recreating the scenes from the streets by referring to the textual narratives as well as available digital data.
Lamenting the absence of enthusiasm for science in the country, Raghavan said that science has largely been seen through the prism of “instrumental technology resulting in the apathy”.
“The reason behind science not being an integral part of our culture is that it has always been seen through the prism of instrumental technology. This digital restoration exemplifies the wonders that science can do,” he said.
Part of the Indian Digital Heritage (IDH) Project, work on it was started in 2008 involving experts from more than 10 premier institutions including IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, Indian Statistical Institute and the Delhi Technical University.
The Indian Digital Heritage Project aims to bring together technological and cultural perspectives in the representation of heritage involving a large number of academic institutions across the country.
A mobile app has also been developed, the users of which will be able to get to see the original Hampi structures which are in ruins now.