September 15, 2012
Though I has visited Aihole three times before this visit i had not really discovered the prehistoric burial site. I had walked over the fort wall on Meguti hill yet I had missed the megalithic tombs. Some time early this year I learned about the tombs.
Malatesh, Raju and I arrive at Aihole by 5PM. Since Malatesh had not seen Ravanapadi rock-cut temple, we stop there for some time. While Malatesh sees the interior I climb up the rocks to check few rock shelters for paintings. No, no paintings here. That's Meguti temple atop the hill and behind the temple is our destination- a prehistoric burial site.
A - Rock-cut Jain Basti
B - Burial site entrance
C - Meguti temple and fort
D - Malaprabha river
E - Aihole-Pattadkal road
We park the cab close to Jain Basti, unfortunately Malatesh will not be able to see the inside because its doors are locked. OK, lets climb the hill. We go around the temple and find a way up the hill, just a minutes climb we reach the plateau, it slopes up gradually towards the temple. On the left is Malatesh and Raju on the right and in the middle is the first tomb, very close to the edge of the plateau. Just behind Raju is a rough cut steps through a passage.. I felt that was the burial site entrance.
Hirebenakal. In this particular tomb the vertical slabs measured approximately 3' x 2' and the cap-stone about 5' x 5'. Thickness of the slabs were 6" to 8".
Inside of the same structure.
The day hectic; woke early, traveled 160 km, trekked and climbed 7 hours, we were tired. Our plan was to reach Badami and camp there. Our plan for the morrow was to locate some prehistoric paintings in Hiregudda at Badami. On the way we stopped at Shirdi Sai Baba temple on the outskirts of Pattadakal.