Rock Art : The Emerging Tourism Product of Odisha
Rock Art: The emerging tourism product of Odisha
Rock art Shelter, Lekhamoda, Sundergarh
Rock art incorporates a wide range of imaginative articulations like paintings, etchings/ engravings and pressing on natural rock surface of caverns and rock shelters , executed by our precursors in the far off past.
Rock art destinations with pictographs (artistic creations or paintings) and petroglyphs (etchings/engravings) have been recorded from all parts of the world, aside from Antarctica. Asia, being the biggest landmass, has diverse rock art legacy in worldwide setting. Rock art is found in profound buckles just as on high mountains from the jungles to the cold areas.
India is one of the three nations on the planet with the biggest centralization of rock arts close to Australia and South Africa.
One of the oldest proof of rock etching in India was accounted for from Odisha when K.P jayaswal in 1933 revealed the rock art of Bikramkhol in Jharsuguda District.
The two districts of sundargarh and sambalpur represent most elevated convergence of rock art destinations in the state.
Maybe it is so in light of the fact that the geomorphological arrangement of this locale is tantamount to that of the rock art sites of Central India , which taken together records for more than 33% of the nation’s complete rock art legacy. With an all out collection of 7048 rock arts in India , 2285 are paintings ( pictographs) and 3886 are etchings/ engravings( petroglyphs). Non-literal unique examples and themes like triangles, honeycombs, rhomboids and a progression of themes pretty much like carpets , saws, nets , denticulate , sharp edges like a blade , spears and so forth over and again repeat both in paintings and engravings . An incredible assortment of creatures are additionally discovered portrayed in these rock sufaces . They incorporate frog, snake, reptile, fish , tortoise , tiger , porcupine, snake, sambar, bore , deer and so forth. They are depicted in various dispositions and stances …like standing, looking back, here and there and so on …..Human postures are thoroughly missing in etching and practically unimportant in canvases ( rock surfaces being used as canvases) , contrasted with other topic. Etching comprises a unique element in Odishan rock artmanship which coincides with painting, both being reciprocal to one another . Etchings are constantly pigmented with ochre. A few themes like triangle, beaten brush marks are to a great extent found in Odisha.
It is a worldwide marvel with its relic returning to a huge number of years when early men’s economy depended on hunting and assembling . Throughout the entire existence of humankind , no work of compelling artwork other than rock art has such a wide dissemination going on for so long. It comprises the oldest composed and visual report of the humankind – an amazing method for communicating antiquated imaginative refinement . It is a huge repository of data for archeologists and historians in their endeavors to recreate the way of life of the people living in the far off past . These show-stoppers give direct data on society, convictions, customs ,ceremonies, ensembles , devices used in daily life, hunting equipments , mechanical fulfillments , contemporary flora & fauna and above all man – nature relationships.
In different rock panels ( both in paintings and engravings)of rock art sites of Odisha, it has been observed that there lies a symbol of a bisected triangle or a dot in the center of a triangle. This is being interpreted as the symbolic representation of vulvas or female privates. This gives an impression as though there was an intentional endeavor for emblematic portrayal of the significance of early stage mother answerable for all creation . Fruitfulness has been of incomparable worry since the commencement of humanity on earth for ensuring prosperity.
Rock Art Tourism in Odisha
Odisha is a great repository of rock arts and has become the most sought-after laboratory for all (both inland and abroad) cutting edge rock art enthusiasts and researchers.There are 106 rock shelters distributed in 11 districts of Odisha documented till date. Probably the most important sites are
Gudahandi Caves is a pre-historic site , located in the Kalahandi district of Odisha, India. It is located about 17 km and 88 km away from Ampani( nearest town) and District Headquarter (Bhawanipatna) respectively.It was explored first by Dr. S.N Rajguru in 1950
Yogimath is situated in Nuapada district at a distance of about 9 km from Khariar Westren Odisha Border area and 67 km from Bhawanipatna of Kalahandi District. This place is famous for its neolithic cave paintings( located deep inside the Patdarha forest).It was brought to limelight by Jitamitra Singhdeo in 1970.
Vikramkhol or Bikramkhol prehistoric archaeological site with pictographic inscriptions.The inscriptions are being dated between 3000 B.C to 4000B.C. The antiquity of these inscriptions helped Odia language to get classical status….though there are two theories regarding the inscription – one group believes it a writing, while others doubt it as a rock art and nonliterate rock carvings. One can arrive at this place via Jharsuguda___22.1km___Belpahar__12 kms___Bikramkhol .
ulapgarh : Alongside the Jharsuguda Belpahar road , at a distance of 21 kilometres from Jharsuguda, there comes a hill called maheshwara pahada and on the foothill, there lies a village called Ulap and about one kilometre from the village, the ruins of Ulapgarh situated . About 1000 people can take shelter in a moat( 12 ft wide & 150 mts long) in that Ulapgarh.
ushakothi and manikmoda of sundargarh. On the Western side of Ulapgarh and downhill there is Ushakothi cave and there are numerous cave art and circular holes on the walls of the cave. May be those ancient people were hanging their personal belongings using sticks inserted in those holes.
image source: IGNCA
sitabinji ( famous for fresco paintings on a rock shelter called Ravan Chhaya, lies at a distance of 32 Kms from Keonjhar &22.5 Kms from Dhenkikote.)
A visit to these destinations is profoundly remunerating to comprehend the nature in its own way and the man – nature relationship during those times. These rock arts exist even today bearing all the adverse impacts of incessant and perennial flow of time …that is against both human and natural vandalism. They should be safeguarded and secured for our future generations and for Odisha bound tourists who are primarily motivated by rock arts .
It is because of the nature of rock art tourism in Odisha , there are certain natural demands. All the rock art sites are located inside the dense forests, infested by wild animals…So snake bites/ mosquito bites/ insect bites etc . can never be ruled out. Only tourists having an adventurous bent of mind can think of undertaking the tour and hence escorted tours will be preferred.If you would like to get informed,everytime I post something new, then please click the follow button .
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