Ancient rock paintings identified at forest area in Bargur

Over 200 prehistoric paintings were recently identified at a cave in the forest area of Bargur Hills

June 17, 2022 02:50 pm | Updated 06:40 pm IST - ERODE

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.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.