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Remnants of Jain monuments found

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Slice of history: A big megalithic dolmen found on a hillock near Dasannapeta village of Amudalavalasa mandal in Srikakulam.
Slice of history: A big megalithic dolmen found on a hillock near Dasannapeta village of Amudalavalasa mandal in Srikakulam.

Staff Reporter

Archaeologist K. Venkateshwara Rao discovered the monuments that throw light on pre-historic megalithic structures

Srikakulam: Historical evidence of ancient civilisation, ancient Jain monuments and pre-historic megalithic structures have been discovered at Dannanapeta, Pandavula metta and on the hillocks of Chittivalasa and Pandavula Panchalu near Amudalavalasa in the district. A freelance archaeologist K. Venkateshwara Rao, who made in-depth study of Jainism that thrived during the reign of Kalinga dynasty in the 5th and 6th centuries B.C, has found these monuments.

Some historians believe that the Vardhamana Mahaveera, the 24th Theerhamkara of Jains, had visited the region and preached Jain principles, Mr. Venkateshwara Rao says. Early monasteries had been established on the hills and hillocks of Amudalavalasa. Dantapura, the capital of Kalinga empire, is very close to early Jain settlements and hence, it is believed that ancient kings of Dantapura adopted Jainism and patronised it as their state religion. One huge and massive single dolmen’s chamber measuring 36 feet was found on the hillock of Dannanapeta near Amudalavalasa.

Engineering marvel

It is perceived as a giant engineering marvel of those days and today’s engineers and archaeologists have no idea how they could install such a massive rock boulder on upright pillars in the absence of crane-lifting technology.

Until recently, a dolmen discovered at Lee Bernard village hamlet in France, was said to have been erected on nine upright stones. With the discovery of the dolmen bearing 36 upright stones in Srikakulam district, it is said to be the largest ever discovered in the country. The hill has clear proof of the concrete holes dug for the installation of wooden poles which supported the largest tent which covers the hill like a canopy. The hill also has early Jain rock beds in the natural cave formations underneath the hillock.

Mr. Venkateshwara Rao has urged the government, to erect tourism tents on the hillock. Meanwhile, Collector Nagulapalle Srikanth has written to the Director of Archaeology and Museums, Hyderabad, to take note of the findings and undertake an in-depth study.

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