Petroglyphs are rock engravings or carvings made by ancient people on natural stone surfaces. These prehistoric art forms provide valuable insights into the lives, beliefs, and cultures of early human societies. In India, there are several locations where petroglyphs have been discovered, shedding light on the country’s ancient history and artistic heritage.
One of the most famous sites with petroglyphs in India is the Bhimbetka Rock Shelters in Madhya Pradesh. Bhimbetka is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains over 700 rock shelters, some of which date back to the Paleolithic era, around 30,000 years ago. These rock shelters feature thousands of prehistoric paintings and petroglyphs, depicting scenes of daily life, hunting, dancing, rituals, and various animals. The site is an essential archaeological and cultural treasure, providing significant information about the region’s early human inhabitants.
Another significant site with petroglyphs is the Edakkal Caves in Kerala. These caves are situated in the Wayanad district and have rock engravings dating back to the Neolithic and the early Iron Age. The petroglyphs found here are believed to be around 6,000 to 8,000 years old and depict human figures, animals, symbols, and various other forms of artistic expressions.
Other locations in India with petroglyphs include:
1. Kupgal petroglyphs in Karnataka: Situated near the Kupgal village, these petroglyphs have been dated to the Iron Age and depict human and animal figures, as well as symbols.
2. Hire Benakal petroglyphs in Karnataka: This site is known for its petroglyphs dating back to the Iron Age, similar to the Kupgal petroglyphs.
3. Tamil Nadu: Some petroglyphs have been discovered in parts of Tamil Nadu, particularly in areas with ancient tribal settlements.
4. Chhattisgarh: Some sites in Chhattisgarh also have petroglyphs, contributing to the understanding of early human cultures in the region.
It’s important to note that the study and preservation of petroglyphs in India are ongoing, and there might be more discoveries and research on these ancient rock art sites in the future. Archaeologists, historians, and art enthusiasts continue to explore and learn from these ancient expressions of human creativity and culture.