Showing posts with label Pre Historic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pre Historic. Show all posts

Dolmen Circles of Doddamalathe and Sulimalathe, Somwarpet

  While passing by this site during one of our journeys, an ASI board  directing towards the Dolmen circle site caught our eye, however, due to lack of time we couldn't make it and the name was included in our to-visit list. After prolonged postponement, during our recent road trip, we made sure we visit this intriguing site of dolmen circles. As we were already  aware of its location, we reached the village of Doddamalathe, located off the Somwarpet - Shanivarsanthe state highway only to realize that we were familiar with the surroundings of this megalithic site, as we had visited the famous pilgrim center of Honamma temple situated very close-by to the site( Read here).
ASI Board
 The two hills here are named Gavi Betta and Morey Betta. While the former is quite popular among pilgrims, the latter is a megalithic site. We inquired about the route of Morey Betta and a few confirmations here and there lead us to the hill base of Morey Betta. As none were present in the hill surroundings, we had to explore the right route to the site and wasting no time, we went ahead. Fortunately, we climbed the hill in the right direction and very curiously looked forward at each and every step to see if the dolmens were visible. The dense grassland blocked our vision and after climbing a certain distance we reached the megalithic site. With great excitement, we walked ahead. An incomplete barbed wire fencing around the circumference of the site ensured against trespassers and taking the right entrance.
The Path 
The Megalithic Site
We sighted a number of  Dolmen circles or cairn circles at the site, out of which some being undisturbed by external elements stood in a good shape while the others were in a disturbed state. However, the Dolmen circles here are quite intriguing. Locally known as 'Pandavara Gudi', owing to a popular belief that these structures were constructed during the period of Mahabharata (the epic war of kurukshethra between the Kauravas and the Pandavas), these Dolmen structures are  commonly  associated  with Pandavas across Karnataka, except in a few places. We were able to identify two types of Dolmen circles here. The first type and the most common of all consists of small sized stones arranged in the form of concentric circles (around 2 to 4 in number) with the dolmen placed at the centre. The second type consisted of big standing stones or Menhirs around  the first circle of stones followed by smaller ones around the other circle. The former may have been that of common men while the latter may have been the ones of important people such as that of a king, a leader or their peers. The Dolmen typically had four vertical stone slabs with a big cap stone placed over them, with one of the vertical slabs housing a port hole. Some of them resembled anthropomorphic figures.
Dolmen Circle, Gavi Gudda in the Background
Notice the Stone circle with Menhirs around the Dolmen 
Dolmen 
 According to R A Cole (the then Superintendent captain of Coorg), these structures may have served as Altars or temples. Further investigations conducted by R A Cole and his team revealed pottery of miniature sizes, similar in shape to those found in the other Coorg cists. It also revealed an interesting gold coated copper disc, though the coating had peeled off in some places. This megalithic site is almost 3000 years old and has survived against all odds. Another interesting story associated with this place is that when people dug a basin for a lake (presently the Honnammana kere),  no water was encountered and water came in abundance only post human sacrifices to the goddess. These burials of the dead formed the Pandavara Gudi. This theory is far from being the fact but this place needs some kind of restoration and maintenance.
Stone Circle

Though the ASI website mentions of two dolmen circle sites here, namely Doddamalathe and Sulimalathe, the locals confirmed that the two together form one site. The megalithic site being surrounded by both the villages of Doddamalathe and Sulimalathe around its periphery, it falsely seems as though there are two different sites. 

References: 
1. "The Megalithic Culture in South India", a book written by B.K. Gururaja Rao 
3. Kodagu First

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Places to Visit Around Bangalore/ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು/ Bengaluru Part -11

Continued from here..

Type: Hill, Fort, Temple Town 
Distance from Bangalore: 110 km
Trek Distance: 1.5 km (One Way)
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - Old Madras Road - Till Mulbagal 
About: Mulbagal forms the eastern gateway to Karnataka and is popular for its Anjaneya temple and Namkeens (Savories). The fort is supposed to have been built during the Vijayanagar period which later underwent renovations during Tippu's rule. There are 2 big boulders on the peak of the hill known as Mahadeva Gundu and Babaiah Gundu. More
Mulbagal
Mulbagal Fort 
57. Hulukudi 
Type: Hill, Fort, Temple Town 
Distance from Bangalore: 80 km
Trek Distance: 1.5 km (One Way)
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - Doddaballapura - Right turn towards Devanahalli -  Right turn after 6 km - about 4 km to reach the hill base
About: Hulukudi is an erstwhile town of the Cholas. There are many inscriptions here belonging to this period. There are also many temples on the hill and in the village - Veerabhadraswamy temple, Narashima temple, Mukaneshwara Temple, Anjaneya temple and others. There is no much history known about the fort . More
Hulukudi
Nandi Enclosure, Hulukudi Fort
58. Lepakshi 
Type: Temple Town 
Distance from Bangalore: 110 km
Directions from Bangalore: A) Bangalore - Doddaballapura - Gauribidnaur - Hindupur - Lepakshi
                                           B) Bangalore - Devanahalli - Chikkaballapura - Bagepalli - Lepakshi 
About: The Vijayanagar King Virupanna is known to have built the Veerabhadra temple here. Though it has passed through the hands of many kingdoms, the  contribution of the Vijayanagar Kings is vast. This place is also associated with the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The fresco paintings on the ceilings are remarkable, leaving one to only wonder about the immense skills people possessed during those times. The statue of Nandi situated at about 600 meters from the temple is another excellent piece of artwork of the Vijayanagar period. More
Lepakshi
Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, Lepakshi 

Type: Hoysala Temples
Distance from Bangalore: 120 km
Directions from Bangalore: A) Bangalore - NH 48 - Right turn at Nayakanahalli - Santhe Bachalli
About: The Mahalingeshwara Temple here serves as a very good example of Hoysala architecture that flourished during the 12th century. The temple interiors are beautifully executed. The Veeranarayana temple is supposed to have be built during the Vijayanagara period. More
Hoysala Temple
Mahalingeshwara Temple Santhe Bachalli
60. Kendatti Madivala 
Type: Prehistoric Site 
Distance from Bangalore: 50 km
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH 7 - Left turn at Kendatti - Kendatti Madivala
About: The standing stones/Menhirs here tell a wonderful story about the skills of these prehistoric people. This site is spread across a few acres and one can witness the various prehistoric burials. More 
Pre historic Site
Stone Circle, Kendatti Madival


Hampi Unseen Part 6 - Cave Paintings of Mosalayyana Gudda

"Such a place does not exist here, I have been working here for the past thirty years and never have I heard of a hill named Mosalayyana Gudda", these were the words of a lady in response to the query of the whereabouts of Mosalayyana Gudda (Gudda-Hill)! These words were totally out of sync with  the book I was referring to with regards to Mosalayyana Gudda. My friend  gave me a puzzled look after which we decided to continue towards the much known Vijaya Vittala temple. Surprisingly, the information board put up opposite the temple entrance gave us the exact location of the hill we were in search of! Wasting no time, we walked curiously towards the hill and reached its base.
Cave Paintings Hampi
Mosalayyana Gudda
While we were anxious about finding the cave paintings, a local shepherd boy came to our rescue and confirmed about the presence of paintings on a few rocks. After further discussion with him, we realized we were close to the site of cave paintings. The boy was bound to his duty of taking care of sheep and hence was unable to guide us to the caves personally. We thanked him and as we climbed the hill, we began to examine every rock that we came across for paintings. We looked around for quite sometime, yet there were no signs of any paintings. Walking along, we reached a reasonably plain stretch of land  surrounded by heaps of rock, making it difficult to find the cave paintings.
Hampi Cave painting
Pile of Rocks which housed the Paintings
Musical Rock Hampi
Musical Rock 
After a small break, our hunt continued. While we checked every rock carefully, a red color paint on the rock caught our eye and we reached that pile of rock straight away and eureka! We had found it. There they were! We had to climb a big boulder to have a closer look at the paintings. We were so thrilled and my friend admitted that he had never seen anything like this before. We carefully examined the cave paintings and spent a good time admiring the skills of the pre-historic people.
Cave Paintings Karnataka
First Look @ Cave Paintings
Line Paintings of Humans
Bull Painted 
Bull Rock Carving 
I revisited this site with my wife and four of my best friends. Everybody was equally excited to witness these pre-historic paintings. Further climb led us to the peak of the hill from where the views were amazing, giving us a chance to click some great shots.
Vijaya Vittala Temple, Hampi
Vijaya Vittala Temple
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The Standing Stones of Nilaskal, Shimoga

After visiting the prehistoric site of Byse, while driving back on the highway connecting Nagara with Nittur, a PWD board that read Nilaskal caught our eye. Nilaskal, a pre-historic site was on our to- explore list from quite sometime and now was our chance to find out what was in store here. On inquiring at a local general store on the other side of the road, we were told to take the immediate right turn and drive until we reached a school,besides which was a field, the site of Nilaskal. Nilaskal in Kannada means a standing stone, and this village is rightfully named so due to the presence of these stones. In no time we were in front of the school and parked the vehicle by the side. As we got down, we immediately spotted a big stone fallen near the school compound while a bigger one stood erect inside the school premises. Our search for  more such stones began and without much difficulty we entered the field that housed Menhirs of various sizes, standing tall and proud, many had fallen. They were spread far and wide across the field. While the scientists believe that these stones are aligned in a way that the rays when the sun rises and sets during the solar solstice fall in between these stones, the alignment pattern still remains a mystery even today. Sad to know this site remains neglected.
Pre Historic Site Nilaskal
Menhir Inside School Premises 

Pre Historic Site Shimoga
Tallest Menhir Found Here


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Roadissi - "Sisupalgarh The Oldest Fort"

 Sisupalgarh, supposedly the oldest fort of India was discovered during the 80's and is believed to have had the capacity of accommodating more than 20000 people. Thus making it one of the largest settlements of that age, probably even bigger than the city of Athens which housed a population close to 10000 people. We ensured to make an attempt to visit this place when in Bhubaneswar during our road trip to Orissa. After visiting the state Archaeological Museum, we decided to visit this wonderful site.
A Model of the Fort @ State Museum  Bhubaneshwar
   The book we referred to gave us a brief idea about the location of this fort. Following these directions, we realized we had come close to this place yet we were far away since none of the locals were much aware of this place to guide us through. Finally a police man came to our rescue and gave us the right directions. We were greeted by a notice board put up by the A.S.I, signalling that we are on the right path and very close to this fort. With nobody around, finding the site became quite difficult and at one point we noticed  another A.S.I board which took us to the entrance of the fort.
Sisupalgarh, Orissa
Entrance to Fort Sisupalgarh
Remains of the Fort 
Oldest Fort of India
  Researcher B B Lal describes the history of Sisupalgarh as follows , "This was the most celebrated fort during 3rd Century BC and was bigger than Athens". We were the only ones present  around this part of the fort. Unfortunately, we could sight a big township developing adjacent to the fort site making it vulnerable to extinction and crying for help. Sadly what was once the Queen's Palace  has been reduced today to a marshy area. The pillars here have survived for 2000 odd years and today are in a state of pity due to the nasty real estate business, luring the government against taking any effective measures for preserving this historical site.
Remains of Queen's Palace
   It is very disheartening to know that many such historical sites in India have vanished due to greed of the current generation and many more are falling prey to the same. We only hope that a day comes when man realizes that such historical sites have to be preserved for the betterment of the society. 

Hirebenakal - The land of the dead


            Hirebenekal is a small village located in Koppal district, off the Gangavathi - Gadag Highway. The hills of Hirebenekal are considered to be the most significant amongst the pre-historic sites in India. I was much excited to explore this place. One early morning, I left my room in Bellary and boarded a bus to Gangavathi town. Gangavathi at that time was decked with paddy fields, getting ready for harvest. As there were no direct buses to Hirebenekal, I took the bus that dropped me off closest to Hirebenekal and further hired a passenger auto to Hirebenekal. The village of Hirebenekal is located about a kilometer away from the highway. It is surrounded by a hill range that stands as a testimony to the pre-historic period.
Hirebenakal Information Broad
            My first task was to look out for a guide / local person who would help me go around this site and give the necessary information.  I found out about the care taker of this site but unfortunately could not get him. I was directed to the hill base to find him but in vain. Luckily, I was greeted by informative boards giving details about this place and its pre-historic culture.  I was glad to see the direction boards to the site.
About Megalithic Culture
Crocodile Painting
Rugged Terrain
  Moving as per the directions, somehow I lost track and climbed the wrong hill. After climbing and not finding any directions thereon, I decided to get down this hill from the opposite direction. During my descent, my eyes fell on one of the boulders that looked like it carried paintings.  A closer look confirmed the same and I was amazed to witness crocodile paintings on the boulder.  I was also quite surprised as this place is located away from any kind of water bodies. I continued my descent only to realize I’d lost my way again! Upon investigation the surroundings, a direction board caught my eye and I only wondered how one could miss this. Within no time I reached a big boulder with paintings, amongst which the paintings of people standing in a row and dancing was quite interesting. I spent quite some time here admiring the technology of creating paints that have survived tens of thousands of years of sun and rain, whereas paints of today may only manage to survive a few..
 
Rock Art 
People in Line
Dancing People

Cave painting
 
Dolmen Site 

            As time was ticking and the day getting warmer, I had to hurriedly reach the cluster of boulders upon which was the Kettle's Drum, another wonder of the pre-historic times. The boulder when tapped emits a sound made by the drum. Here on, I reached a pre-historic grave yard, which housed dolmens of various types, sizes, and shapes. It took me a lot of time to explore this area in depth. Lastly, I moved on to the site of the quarry and a pond.  It was time was to return and complete the quest for the day only to begin a more exciting one the next day!
Quarry and Pond
 
 

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