Friday, December 13, 2019

Dolmens of Talavadi

While ascending the Talavadi hill, we spotted a Dolmen-like structure on its neighboring hillock. I had marked in my mind to explore this hill after our descent. Once we were at the base of the hill, we went ahead to explore the Dolmen/megalithic site. A short climb led us to a flat portion of the hill and we walked straight to reach the Dolmen site. Yes!  It was a huge dolmen with a stone circle. But the sad part was that it remained slightly damaged, although most of its parts were in place.   The stones used for the construction of Dolmen were huge and nicely dressed, having an even surface. The size of the capstone of this Dolmen was roughly around 6 feet by 6 feet in length and breadth with its depth/height varying between 4 to 10 inches.
Disturbed Dolmen (No.1)
There was a natural water pond nearby and while exploring this area, we found another dolmen with a stone circle. But this had been completely destroyed with just one of its stone slabs standing, while the rest were missing. Probably the stones were removed from here by miscreants. This stone Dolmen is very similar to the first Dolmen in its dimensions, going by the sizes of the stone circle and stone slab. After finding this, we became more curious and started to investigate this small hillock for more such structures. We went on to find another stone circle that lay completely disturbed. While walking around the hill, two fully intact Dolmens on another neighboring hill caught our attention and we were intrigued to explore that too!!!
Remains of Dolmen With Stone Circle (No.2)

  We tried to figure out the way to this neighboring hill which seemed nearby, but since no direct route was present, we decided to circumvent and reach this hill. This walk was much longer than we thought as we had to cross numerous small hillocks on the way. On one such hillock, we spotted a Dolmen without a stone circle. The Dolmen was in a much better shape though a bit disturbed. Except for its front stone slab, all the others were laid in situ. Probably, this never had a front slab or it has gone missing. An anthill present inside the Dolmen obstructed our view and we couldn’t see much. 
Solitary Dolmen on Hillock (No.3)
Moving on from here and after walking for a good 15 minutes, we reached a check dam. After crossing the check dam, we entered into agricultural lands walking across which we found a bigger Dolmen that had been excavated by the locals in the greed for treasure; the site however would have carried plenty of bones and pieces of pottery. Here in this land, we could spot a few dolmens spread across, but the land comprised of standing crops which prevented us from venturing inside for inspection. Finally, after crossing all the farmlands, we found a small foot route to the hillock on which we spotted the two intact dolmens. 
Excavated Dolmen ( No.4) 
Dolmen Along With Standing Crop (No.5)
Intact Dolmen ( No. 6 &7)
Finally, after exploring the area, we reached the spot that had intact dolmen giving us a fair idea of the Dolmens once stood here. One of them had a porthole on the eastern stone slab and only one we had come across here with a porthole. These two were also so same size we had come across in this area. Though nothing remained inside these dolmens, it was good to see them intact. From here we took another route where we came across the place that looked like an ancient quarry site. Little further we found the fort wall probably the first tier of the Talavadi Fort. So we completed the circumventing the hill on which we spotted the dolmen. Thus completing adventurous trek and exploration.
Talavadi Hill in the Background
Dolmen No.6 
Broken Port Holed Slab 
Our efforts to find any documentation related to this place went in vain. By looking at the style and sizes of the stones, the Dolmens can be safely assigned to a period between 1000 BCE – 300 BCE. There are two articles in the KarnatakaItihasa Academy that mention the presence of megalithic sites around Kootgal Hill, although they fail to mention the existence of these dolmens. We only hope that the remnants survive the test of time and human greed. Megalithic structures are mysterious and need in-depth study in order to understand their purpose, rather than superficially relating them to burial practices. Of late, a lot of research is being carried out in this direction in order to gain more clarity.
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  1. nice to know about this prehistoric site so close to Bangalore. Thanks for sharing the lovely snaps and details, TGS.

  2. We came across Dolmens on top of a hill to the north-east of Thimappa betta and Talvadi. It was big in size. 10 feet by 10 feet I would say. Made us wonder how many people would have had to lift it to place it on the supporting rock wall structure.

  3. hi there, came across your post while researching for stone circles, natural landforms and rocks in and around bangalore. Was wondering if you can let me know more about this location, ease of access and if you could share your images as well. I am a visual artist, doing some research for a new body of work. Would love to connect and know further. You could email me at Thanks ! sareena