Feb 22, 2014

Prehistoric Ash Mounds of Budihal

Budhihal village is located in Surpur taluq of Yadgiri district. Budhihal is mentioned along with Hagaratgi and Rajan Kollur in Meadows Taylor's 'Megalithic Tombs and Other Ancient Remains in the Deccan'. The name Budhihal literally means 'old ash'. Hence this village is known for its ancient ash mounds.

November 26, 2013
We drove from Talikoti side, passed through Hagaratgi village and reached Budhihal village. The ash mounds are situated a kilometer to the northern and north-eastern sides.

At least four large ash mounds can be identified in satellite maps; 1½ kms away are three mounds and another 1½ kms fruther is a larger ash-mound. In the picture below is the first group of mounds. Mounds 1 and 2 are nearly 150 meters in diameter. Both are badly damaged.. vandalized would be the right word.

This is Eranna from Budhihal village, he was my guide. Eranna is standing close to the center of ash mound 2. Most of the ash has been carted away.. Eranna said people use it for construction work. Sad.

A closer look at the mound. On the outside it is harder, a crust has formed because of exposure to air and moisture. There are spots where grey ash can be seem clearly. Beside ash the mound seems to consist dirt, stones and lime powder too. The white powdery substance could be lime (see inset).

Here is a close up of the section of the mound. Different layers are visible. Focus on the dark grey patch within the circle - the light grey arc is piece of pottery.

I pulled out the pottery piece to expose the ash inside. I felt it with my finger tips, it is definitely ash.. seems it is wood ash.

I collected few pottery pieces and ash lumps to add to my collection. Eranna is holding the samples.


Artifacts from Budhihal- two ash lumps and three pieces of pottery. The pottery pieces still have a coating of fine ash.

This mound is about 5' at the tallest point.

On the edge of the mound are fist sized stones mixed into the ash. Looks like a ring of stone wall encircled the burning mass. The stone circle might have been created to contain the ash from spreading out and also to contain the fire. It is also possible that a shallow but wide pit existed which eventually filled with ash and became a mound.

What was the purpose of these fires?
Burn limestone to produce lime for domestic use like white-wash dwellings?
An annual ritual where old house-hold articles were incinerated?
A kiln to bake pottery?
To scare away wild animals?

We come to mound 2. As you see a road has cut right through the mound.

This mound is about 3 feet at the highest point. Eranna said if you stood on this mound and pounded it with your feet you hear a dull sound.. as though it is hollow within.

People here are aware of the historical importance of these mounds, yet they vandalize it.

A mound of excavated sand dumped in a fenced farm land. That seems like two or three tractor loads of ash.

This site needs to be protected and preserved.. at least for the sake of Budhihal's name.

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1 comment:

Nirdesh Singh said...

Hi Siddeshwar,

This is an amazing find. Your posts are painstakingly visited, researched and then posted here.

I guess after visiting most of the tombs, forts and temples you have graduated to discovering pre-historic sites.

Awesome work!

Nirdesh