Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Standing Stones of Byse, Shimoga

 Drive through the Nagara-Nittur road was quite a pleasure and went on smoothly until a sign board of a village name Byse, caught our attention. We stopped at the crossing to check our travel dairy for any information related to this place as we vaguely remembered reading about it and its connection with pre history. Well, we were right!  Byse has numerous standing stones/ Menhirs / Nilskal / Rakshashkal. Our excitement only grew as we knew the name of the place matched and we decided to explore this place. When we inquired about the exact location of such stones to an elderly person, he shooed us away saying that, nothing of such a kind exists there. Assuming that this person may be ignorant or misleading, my wife insisted on having a second opinion and so we did!  A little further we met a few people who on enquiring about the stones responded positively, saying that ‘Aane Nilskal’ (Stone used to tie Elephants) is located over an elevated piece of land close by, and for this we had to walk a short   distance as the roads were not in a proper condition. Thanking them, we moved further. Final enquiries ahead lead us to the location of Menhirs. This place is called as “Nilaskal Byana”, meaning the field of standing stones. We could easily spot 6 Menhirs standing tall and a few fallen, here and there. It is believed that these structures are aligned in such way that they fall in line following the solar solstices. The reason behind their placement and their laying still remains a big mystery, just as the stone henge!

Standing Stones
Fallen Stone
Hidden Menhir
Stone Square???

Further reading:
1. A mountain sunrise by Srikumar M Menon, researching on pre-historic sites, especially Byse.  

Happy Ganesha Festival to All !


  1. I want to visit this place, sounds so interesting.

  2. loved the way menhirs is standing :)

  3. What an interesting place to find and to explore. I'm glad you got the second opinion and were able to see these mysterious standing stones.

  4. Wonderful post as always and terrific captures of such a fascinating place! You do take some great trips -- thanks as always for sharing them with us!! Have a great week!!

  5. Nice post ,Thanks for sharing.
    Happy Ganesha Festival

  6. Fantastic finds, and they are quite interesting to see!

  7. interesting info... A first photo looks like python's head in my view...


  8. Lovely pictures and interesting write up...

  9. The rocks in the first and third photo looks similar to those giant heads on Easter Island
    My new post about
    Vasai Fort – The Portuguese Heritage

  10. Sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing this information.

  11. how wonderful! truly ancient wonders.

  12. Exciting to read, must have been existing to discover too. Great work . keep it up