Having seen prehistoric rock-paintings, megalithic tombs and musical rocks, I was yearning to see petroglyphs ~ line drawings made by etching rocks. Research showed that the Neolithic site of Kappagallu near Bellary is one place where petroglyphs could be found, on the hill called Hiregudda meaning big hill. The site was discovered by a British officer William Fraser in 1860s. Few years later the site was visited by a British geologist and archaeologist - Bruce Foote -who studied the site extensively and the findings were documented in his report 'Geology of Bellary district 1885.'
Online documents seen were atleast two decades old and the present day satellite view of Hiregudda clearly showed quarrying activity on the hill. I was worried.. how could quarrying be allowed in such an important site? Nevertheless, I was prepared to visit the site. While researching I happened to come across an article on prehistoric site and I got in touch with the author - Rama Dasa of Sanganakallu village. I was happy to have found Rama Dasa, we spoke over few times and fixed a date for a visit to the site.
March 7, 2013
We arrived at Sanganakallu around 7-30 AM, met Rama Dasa, his friend Veerebhadrappa would be joining us. We drove out of the village, drove on the highway for a short distance and turned left towards the neolithic complex. The entire hill was slated for development as a tourist site; at the base of this hill here is a half constructed building which was supposed to house a museum and information center. Part of the hill was to be fenced - note the pillars sans fencing wire. The entire project has come to a standstill because of bureaucracy. Sadly our historical sites end up neglected - thanks to ignorance and indifferent attitudes by public and government. Anyway.. we are at the eastern base of the complex, this hill ahead of us is known as peacock hill.
|Malatesh, Rama Dasa, Veerabhadrappa|
The dark-brown rocks on the hill ahead are igneous rocks. These entire heap of rock is known as Dolerite Dyke. Our plan is to climb these rocks and see some ancient petroglyphs. The shelter you see at the bottom left of this picture is a modern structure, part of the shelved tourism project.
Rama Dasa talked about the wheel for 45 minutes connecting it to Earth's orbit around the Sun and the calendar. If we had not stopped him, he might have spoken another hour. In short the Bull-Axe has a very deep meaning.
A phone call had interrupted Rama Dasa's talk on Bull-Axe wheel. During the recess Veerabhadra made himself comfortable on a chair :)
More to come.. this article will continue as Prehistoric Petroglyphs of Kappagallu - part II.