Rare tusker engraving found in Tumakuru

It is believed to be of the Chalcolithic Age or Early Megalithic Period

Updated - May 30, 2016 05:45 am IST

Published - May 30, 2016 12:00 am IST - MYSURU:

Historical find:The stone engraving of an elephant that was found at Gundlahalli in Tumakuru district. —Photo: by special arrangement

Historical find:The stone engraving of an elephant that was found at Gundlahalli in Tumakuru district. —Photo: by special arrangement

A stone engraving of a male elephant has been found in Gundlahalli village in Pavagada taluk of Tumakuru district.

The elephant etching on the granite stone, 77 inch wide and 65 inch tall, was noticed by an assistant professor of History in Government First Grade College, Kuvempunagar, Mysuru, during his recent visit to the village.

S.G. Ramadasa Reddy, who spotted the stone carving on the right side of a temple on a hillock in the village, told The Hindu that the stone engraving, based on the opinions drawn from archaeology experts, was believed to be of the Chalcolithic Age (1400 BC to 800 BC) or Early Megalithic Period (1000 BC to 500 BC). He said he would write to the Department of Archaeology about it with an appeal to protect the structure considering its importance.

“The carving shows an elephant with two long tusks and its trunk touching the ground. The jumbo seems to be moving as the picture shows a raised right forelimb. Overall, it appears like a well-built tamed tusker,” he said.

According to Dr. Reddy, stone drawings of elephants had been previously found in Kurugodu, Brahmagiri, Holalooru and Ankola. “The Gundlahalli stone drawing resembles the previous findings of stone elephant engravings.”

Dr. Reddy claimed that though the engravings of other animals on stone were commonly found, stone engravings of elephants were rare and they had been found only in States like Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

“I believe that the Gundlahalli engraving stands out because of its clarity. Whoever has drawn the image purposely chose a large stone to draw the image of a large animal. Going by the finding, we can say that the place had forest and ample water resources,” he said.

Similar stone drawings of elephants had also been found in Libya and Morocco in Africa, Dr. Reddy said. He said that the Gundlahalli engraving needs immediate conservation as the rock had started flaking.

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