Discover Rock Art Cluster In Poosaripatti In Madurai

In a chance find, researchers have come upon a collection of pictographs inside a cave in Tamil Nadu state
The city of Madurai. Credit / Pranavan Shoots
The city of Madurai. Credit / Pranavan Shoots

A remarkable discovery awaits in the serene village of Poosaripatti, nestled deep within the legendary Madurai district. Here, in the heart of what was once known as kadambavanam, or the forest of the kadamba trees (Neolamarckia cadamba/burflower), lies the latest collection of mesmerizing rock paintings. This marks the thirteenth cluster of rock art to be unearthed in the historic region of Madurai. The ancient tales of kadambavanam come to life as you venture into this tranquil village, where history and art converge.

Lucky Number 13

The pictographs include etchings of human figures, scenes of hunting, and a detailed drawing of an elephant. It is reported that rock art researchers Bala Bharathi and V Bala Murali were alerted about the site by historian Pandithurai of Mangulam. When they reached Poosaripatti to inspect the cave, which the locals have named Paraipallam, they found it to be behind a huge boulder that had been broken for mining.

Preserve And Protect

Numerous white and red paintings have been found on the sides and roof of the cave. Bala Bharathi explained that the paintings were in various hues, both light and dark, and had been drawn by this cave's inhabitants over time. He added that the pictographs remained untouched, because mining had now been banned in the area, even though a large part of it seemed to have been destroyed. He requested the site be declared a protected one.

Satukunda Rock Paintings near Bhopal are around 5,000 years old
Satukunda Rock Paintings near Bhopal are around 5,000 years old Shutterstock

Rock Art Wise

There are many versions of rock art. When it is paintings or sketches/drawings on rock, it is called a pictograph. A carving of any form is a petroglyph, and when stones are placed in a pattern, it is called a petroform, while a geoglyph is when there are drawings on the ground. Did you know Madurai district boasts of pictographs in twelve places? Kongar Puliankulam, Keelakuyilkudi, Muthupatti, Annaipatti, Kidaripatti, Karungalakudi, Keelavalavu, Nadumuthalaikulam, Pulipudavu, Pudurmalai, Thiruvathavur, and Vasimalai, are all well known to researchers.

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