Tirumayam Fort, popular for its architectural beauty of rock-cut temples, has yet another treasure: rock paintings. Little was known about the paintings till recently, but a study, taken up by N. Arul Murugan, Chief Educational Officer, has thrown light on the hidden treasure.

The paintings, discovered at three places atop the fort, are believed to be among the most ancient ones in the State. While the paintings at Sithannavasal pertain to the Pandiya era, the paintings at this fort are considered more ancient.

The first set of paintings can be seen on the hat-like rock located on the right side of the entrance to the fort. The hat rock is filled with paintings at the bottom too, but most of them have lost the details due to discoloration.

The second set of paintings is on a human-head-like rock at the left entrance. One of them shows a man and a woman in a lying posture with their hands united.One painting depicts musicians and dancers. In the bottom row, musicians play on percussion instruments, while the top row shows men and women dancing.

On the eastern side, a painting refers to a scene of hunting or war. Another painting shows a man sitting on a big-sized animal, indicating the use of animals during the pre-wheel era for shifting from one place to another during the nomadic style of life.

On the northern side of the head-like rock, a group of men following a woman is seen.

Mr. Murugan said many more paintings could be discovered at several places in the area separating two temples. He has appealed to the visitors and tourists not to cause any damage to them. “Some of the paintings are damaged,” he said.

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