Monday, May 15, 2017

Neolithic Ash Mounds of Kudatini, Bellary Karnataka

Our wish of visiting the Kudatini Ash Mound was long due, and somehow the plan did not materialize during any of our previous visits to this region. This time around, when we got chance to visit Bellary, we made sure to visit this place. Kudatini has always been a top choice for visit for two reasons - The Ash Mound and Lord Brahma temple. Early one morning, we started off from Bellary towards Kudatini and as we crossed Kudatini, we reached the Bellary Thermal Power Station, which was the noted landmark. Once we crossed the BTPS, a yellow board caught our attention and bang on, we are in front of the site of the ash mound. We found a place to park our vehicle and explored the place.
Ballari Thermal Power Station
Ballari Thermal Power Station
"The Ash-mound at Budikanama Pass on Ballari - Hospet road, near Ballari Thermal Power Station, is the largest among the surviving Neolithic period Ash-mound (3000- 1500 BCE) in South India. The mound represents pastoral society's ritual activity centre, including burial activity. A multi-legged burnt clay coffin known as Sarcophagus was excavated by Archaeologists from this site. The sarcophagus contained the mortal remains of a 7 year old young adult along with burial goods such as bi-chrome globular pots bearing graffiti marks. The earliest known symbolic writing known from the region is at 1500 years older than the written language in south India. Oldest written records issued by Emperor Ashoka are found near Kurugodu-Siriguppa region about 30 kilometers from here”, as per the information board put up here. Ash mounds are majorly concentrated in the central region of Karnataka and united Andhra Pradesh. There are many such sites that are in neglect and vanishing every day.  Many farmers believe this ash to be of high nutrition values to plants, providing all the major secondary nutrients and micro nutrients to the plants.
Archaeological Site 
Kudatini Ash Mound
Kudatini Ash Mound 
Hard Outer Surface of the Ash Mound 
There are various theories behind the Ash-mound formation. While none really give the correct explanation, locals believe them to be the burial of demons killed by various gods, linking it to epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Few archaeologists believe that once the pre-historic people decided to move to other places, the wastes/leftovers were gathered at a place and burnt. The ash being constantly exposed to sun light and rain has eventually hardened to form a strong and hard structure from outside. The softness of the ash can be felt when investigated carefully. Few other archaeologists believe that the mounds are a result of the continuously kept burning dungs or other waste materials in order to keep the wild animals away. But then, finding burial remains and other related artefacts  have proved to be challenging to the above theories. Nevertheless, until and after the exact reason has been known behind these ash mounds, the site needs to be well preserved and subjected to further studies. Sadly, the every now and then happening road expansions of the highway pose an additional threat to the site.
The Ash
The Young Archaeologist at Work
Related Posts : 

References:
1. The book "Hampi Parisarada Aadhimanavana NelegaLu" written by Dr. L. Srinivas 
2. Journeys Across Karnataka

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5 comments:

  1. very informative...beautiful pictures...

    ReplyDelete
  2. And I lived 23 years of my life in Bellary, Now I will make it next month. Thanks for introducing ...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very interesting find.. Great going!

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  4. Interesting information. May be one day I will visit it.

    ReplyDelete

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