KERALA

Rock carvings in neglected state

NEGLECTED: Some of the neolithic rock carvings at Thovarymala. Most of the rock carvings are under threat of defacement from anti-socials and vandals.

NEGLECTED: Some of the neolithic rock carvings at Thovarymala. Most of the rock carvings are under threat of defacement from anti-socials and vandals.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: E.M. Manoj

Rock carvings, believed to date back to the Neolithic period, on the walls of a hilltop cave on the Thovarymala hills, near Sulthan Bathery, are facing ruin due to alleged apathy on the part of the government agencies in conserving the historical treasure.

Though the agencies concerned have taken measures to preserve the rock carvings at the Edakkal cave, the rare treasure at Thovarymala, barely 5 km from Edakkal, is yet to draw the attention of the Archaeology Department.

Most of the carvings are found ‘disfigured’ by anti-social elements who have etched their names or drawn obscene pictures on them.

There are 26 rock carvings on the slanted walls of the cave and some of them resemble the carvings in the Edakkal caves. Though the Edakkal cave carvings outdo the Thovary carvings in terms of beauty, as far as the interpretive possibility of the carvings are concerned, the latter excel, said M.R. Raghava Warrier, former history professor at the Calicut University.

The carvings, found on the upper part of the slanted rock wall and the lower part of the stone wall beside it, depict geometrical figures. One carving closely resembles a bird, showing the primitive man’s creative instinct to depict the world.

Though historians and researchers have acknowledged their significance, the carvings are yet to receive serious attention, said Babu Mylambadi, secretary, Wayanad Prakrithi Samrakshana Samithi.

This cave is located in the vested forest under the South Wayanad Forest Division. It can be developed as an ideal place for adventure tourism. This will help in protecting the monuments from anti-social elements, Mr. Babu added.

E.M. Manoj

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