Sep 18, 2013

Rock art at Gudekote fort

March 7, 2013
About a kilometer before Gudekote we sighted two boulders with rock painting, however we confirmed only one site by actually checking out and taking pictures.

We were climbing Gudekote hill with an objective to see the fort; just before the fort entrance we saw a rock shelter.

The rock shelter seems like a natural dolmen. It was a surprise to see paintings on one of the legs, a large boulder. We had to make way into the shelter by pushing aside plants. The shelter was quite spacious; about 15' long, 8' wide and 10' high.

Ravi is studying the figures in the painting. Malatesh is somewhere behind me shooting a video.

The painting depicts a battle scene; human figures wielding swords and spears engaged in fights. Two colors are seen; ocher and white. I'm sure ocher paint is ancient. White seems recent but I'm not sure where to place it.

There are few figures of men on horseback too.

This picture is on the top left corner. Here we can see four horses and three men. Two of the horses are line drawings while the other two are in actual shape.

These white drawings are similar to red ones but lines are thicker.

Ignore the white paint, its vandalism. The animal in red paint must be a buffalo.

Coming to the last picture, this was found within the fort, close to the western tip. No idea what this bent and curved line depicts. Also noticed the more or less uniform red tint on the entire rock surface. This must be an incomplete work.

It seem the stretch between Kudligi and Molakalmuru (and beyond, stretching into Andhra Pradesh) was a prehistoric settlement. The terrain is basically plain, marked with lone hillocks and clusters of hillocks. Most hillocks are rocky i.e. resembling piles of boulders. Such hills surely have plenty of natural shelters which would have been home to men for several generations. Also the area has several lakes, streams and minor rivers like Hagari - plenty of sources for water. Today we see barren land or agricultural plots. I imagine these plains might have been covered by woods with small clearings for agriculture. Wish I could paint the scene. Besides Gudekote, other known historic sites in this area are Kumatgi, Siddapura, Brahmagiri hill and Jatinga Rameshwara. There could be many more.

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