Andhra Pradesh

Yogi Vemana University discovers rock art site in Kadapa

KADAPA: Faculty members and students of the Yogi Vemana University (YVU) have found a rock art site, which after a preliminary study, they said could date back to the megalithic culture or early historic period. The exact period of the pictographs (rock paintings) found in the proximity of Idupulapaya IIIT and opposite YSR Ghat, however, could be ascertained only after further exploration and scientific study.

YVU Vice-Chancellor Prof M Suryakalavathi said a former post-graduate student of the department, M Maheswaraiah, identified the site during a weekend expedition along with friend and village revenue officer P C Chennakesavalu, also a nature enthusiast and admirer of ancient monuments.

“They identified the site during one of their expeditions into wild. Based on Maheswaraiah’s tip-off, others, led by Department head Prof Kankanala Gangaiah and our scholars explored the site on September 23,” she said. “It is a two-km walk from the main road and a stream will lead to the site,’’ she added. The main rock shelter is part of a plateau-topped, east-facing hill and adjacent to a stream originating from the River Papagni, flowing on the southern side of the hill. The team discovered a small cave-like structure on the hill slope .

Could they be megalithic burials?

They also found another cave situated 10.5 metres above the ground level with a narrow platform. “The drawing are found around the ground-level rock cave structures and on the ceiling of the upper-deck cave structure. It is a steep vertical rock climb to reach the upper plate. The route to upper plate was found marked by some artistic sketches as signs to identify steps,’’ experts said. The team found the pictures painted in white, ochre material using brush technique. The paintings were on the rock at skirting level.

“As most paintings are in open, they are exposed to elements,’’ the experts said, adding that they have also observed possible presence of megalithic burials in and around the rock shelter, which is covered under thick vegetation. Experts said megalithic practices existed in India for a long time, starting at about 1300 BC and continuing till about 200 BC.