Coimbatore

Ancient rock paintings identified at forest area in Bargur

A rock painting in Bargur Hills in Erode district shows a warrior on a horse engaging an enemy.

A rock painting in Bargur Hills in Erode district shows a warrior on a horse engaging an enemy. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Yaakkai Team volunteers Sudhakar Nalliyappan, Kumaravel Ramasamy and Sidhalingan recently visited a forest area in the Bargur Hills to join a tribal worship ritual during which they spotted paintings in a collapsed cave. The place, called Rukkal Muniyappan, is where a deity of Muneeswarar is located. It is worshipped by tribal people, including the Sholagar, the Kurumbar and the Bedagampana Lingayat.

A rock, 30 feet high and 250 feet in length, has paintings in red ochre and white. A hunting scene in red displays human figures and a herd of deer standing opposite each other, while in some images, deer of various sizes are presented.

About 30 feet above the ground, an anthropomorphic painting, four feet high, was seen. It looks similar to the Mother Goddess megalithic structures identified at T. Mottur village in Tiruvannamalai district. Two deer and a few animals can be seen beneath the leg of the painting, which depicts the deity blessing humans with resources for hunting. “The painting is located at the tallest place, which is not easily accessible,” said the members.  

Rock art field scholar K.T. Gandhirajan said the elephant, tiger, and deer paintings are seen separately, while the middle row has the painting of a human. It comprises a man standing on a crescent-shaped object and some other symbols, and is considered to be a picture of a boat ride. The bottom layer depicts the racial conflict between people, with three warriors opposing 10. The conflict between the racial groups is depicted at three more places as ethnic groups fight to dominate or rule the region.

The bottom row at the accessible height has hundreds of paintings, including those of humans, animals, people dancing in groups, signs, and symbols of prosperity. A few paintings are overlapped, and it is challenging to conclude the meaning of those pictures. “These overlaps overlook its archaeological evidence but anthropologically, it shows the people’s connection with this place at different periods of time,” Mr. Gandhirajan said.


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Printable version | Aug 6, 2022 3:34:04 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/ancient-rock-paintings-found-in-bargur/article65536228.ece