The efforts of the Wayanad district administration to conserve the prehistoric petroglyphs (rock engravings) on the Thovari hills near Edakkal caves in the district remain on paper.
Though former Wayanad District Collector Kesavendrakumar had asked the State Archaeology Department nearly two years ago to expedite measures to declare the site a protected monument, the authorities are yet to take any efforts to conserve the site.
The engravings, including geometrical signs, and fertility, arrow, and star symbols, besides the newly found anthropomorphic motif, look like the prototype of a figure at the Edakkal caves, and have been in a neglected State for years. The new motif on an angled rock was discovered by a group of rock art enthusiasts while documenting the petroglyphs in the district last year.
Though the Edakkal cave carvings outdo the Thovari carvings in beauty, the interpretive possibility of the carvings at Thovari is immense, historian M.R. Raghava Varier ,who has made a detailed study on the petroglyphs says.
The Thovari rock engravings are believed to comprise mainly geometrical and abstract figures. Some of the marks closely resemble the Brahmi script. One carving resembles a bird, a specimen of the primitive man’s creative instinct to depict the world around him despite the limitations of his crude tools.
However, antisocial elements who reportedly frequent the Thovari hills have disfigured some of the carvings by wanton etching.
The area around Thovari is rich in megalithic monuments and articles such as burial cists and urns, and stone circles.
The cave, in the middle of a vested forest in the South Wayanad forest division, provides visitors with a panoramic view of the place.
“Though Mr. Kesavendrakumar had directed the officials of the District Tourism Promotion Council and the Forest Department to develop the area as a major ecotourism destination , similar to the Edakkal caves, to attract more tourists and researchers, it was yet to be materialised owing to the alleged apathy of the officials,” Thomas Ambalavayal, convener, Edakkal caves protection committee, said.
The organisation is preparing to launch an agitation demanding that the site be declared a national monument along with the Edakkal caves, Mr. Thomas added.
The area around Thovari is rich
in megalithic monuments and articles