While searching for prehistoric paintings in Karnataka I stumbled on Kutkankeri in a very informative prehistoric web-portal The Megalithic Portal. The prehistoric paintings posted by an Israeli explorer were amazing. My mind was made up to visit Kutkankeri. I made inquiries and confirmed the location on Google Maps and also with my friend Ranganath at Badami. Kutkankeri is about 7 kms from Badami on Guledgudda road.
September 15, 2012
Raju the cab driver, Malatesh and I started early. We reached Badami by 7-45. We were supposed to meet a retired ASI employee who had seen Kutkankeri paintings on duty with a well known archaeologist of Karnataka. I tried to contact him through my friend Ranganath but there was no response. Perhaps, Ranganth was in his class already. I decided to go ahead and find a guide. Before that we had a good breakfast- upit, the power food.
We found Kutkankeri easily. I took out the print outs of the paintings, showed them to people so that they are clear about intentions. Few of them did recognize the drawings but some how no one was interested in coming. I was wondering how to convince.. a pleasent surprise; a man did come forward to take us :) Fakirappa was our guide. Few elderly men and Fakirappa discussed and decided a route to cover all spots. However, he wanted to be back by 11 because of his job at a bank. I said fine, we'll make it quick. We took our bags and a water bottle. About half kilometer from the village square was our starting point.
We started with this head and neck stone formation. The climb was steep but the step like stones made the climb easy. Until now I had such formations only in pictures. It was a great feeling to be seeing one for real and touch it. This spot is called Shigipadi.
Amazing rock formation. The more I see it the more I feel it can rotate.
After a 10 minute walk we reach Anipadi; the word can be split into Ani and Padi; the words translates to elephant and rock. That's Anipadi-
On Aniphadi are several prehistoric paintings, mostly in ocher. Overall I have no idea what the drawing means but within it a drawing of a striped animal which we thought as a tiger but realized our mistake; its a hyena. Later at home home, we learn that its correct name is Striped Indian Hyena. Back to the painting here, on the top right corner is a deer like animal.
We move to the other side of the rock. most paintings have faded or some places rain water stains have covered the paint. Here we can see three individual paintings, marked in circles.
I could not identify what this depicts.
A hyena, to be precise a striped Indian hyena.
Malatesh makes a video, to watch them visit this link- Anipadi paintings.
Now Fakirappa wanted to show us the hill in detail. He called his office and asked for leave. Back the summit, we explored these sandstone mounds similar to the ones seen near Badami.South fort. I remember seeing about 15 such mounds.
Notice the X-cut on the rock. Wonder how it got formed.
This article will continue in the following post - Kutkankeri, a prehistoric site - part 2.