Our leaders always speak with pride about the 5,000-year-old civilization of this country. But do they really mean it? Or is it another plank to mobilise the vote banks? The state of the dolmen at the Murugan Hill here, believed to be of Megalithic era, forces one to think this way.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has confirmed that the dolmen are 5,000 years old. A copy of the findings of the ASI has been kept at the panchayat office here.

The capstones of the dolmen have fallen to the ground. The granite slabs have been removed. The overgrown bushes and grass completes the picture of neglect.

Adding insult to the injury are concrete small houses built under a government scheme for rehabilitating the landless Scheduled Tribe families. Some of these houses have also been abandoned by its owners due to water scarcity and lack of basic facilities.

But the shocking fact is that these houses were allotted without considering the historical importance of the area. Researchers said Murugan Hill was not just a burial site for the megalithic people. The hill provided them a bird’s eye view of the areas around the valley.

The dolmen are spread over a  large area in the region once known as Anjunadu, comprising Kanthallur, Keezhanthur, Karayur, Marayoor and Kottakudi.

The majority of the dolmen were destroyed over the years, said V.Murthy, a local resident. Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR) Director P.J. Cheriyan told The Hindu on Thursday that he was pained to see the poor state of the dolmen in Marayoor. He said studies showed that they belonged to the Iron age.

He said the historical sites at Marayoor were contemporary to the Pattanam site which was recently excavated. He said local bodies should take care of the protection of such historical locations.

However, panchayat president Usha Henry said the local body had only limited funds and even the construction work of an iron fencing around the Murugan Hill began last year could not be completed so far.

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