What is Rock Art?
Rock art is a form of landscape art, which is found only in certain regions of India. Rock Art includes age-old designs placed on boulders and cliff faces, along with cave walls as well as ceilings, ground surface of rocks etc.
There have been more than 50 rock art sites, right from upper Paleolithic age, about 40,000 years ago, to Megalithic period (about 4,200 years ago), identified in Telangana, which makes the region a treasure trove of ancient rock arts.
Different Forms of Rock Art
The rock artworks are further divided into three forms namely pictographs (painted on the surface), petroglyphs (carved into the rock surface), and earth figures (engraved into ground). The study of the unique rock art sites offers good insights into our history, right from the pre-historic ages.
Rock Art Sites in Telangana
Rock paintings found in Telangana depicts the love humans had for art and nature, in a period as early as 10,000 BC. The paintings also revealed a plethora of wild animals that had existed all over the region then.
Warangal district is home to many Prehistoric habitation sites, explored by the experts of Archaeology department. Paleolithic Rock art paintings have been found at Pandavula gutta (Regonda mandal) and Narsapur (Tadvai mandal) in the district.
Major Rock Art Site of Pandavula Gutta
A stunning rock painting at Pandavulagutta in Warangal district, depicted a Giraffe, which is considered surprising, since giraffes are found only in Africa now. These paintings offer a rare glimpse into the prehistoric man’s rock art identified on walls and ceilings of caves, rock shelters and isolated boulders.
These paintings depict wild life like bison, antelope, elephant, tiger, crocodile, leopard, horse, scorpion, crab, fishes, porcupine, insects, tortoise, lizard, langur, vultures, eagle, crane, peacock and butterfly.
Other shapes like swastika symbol, circles and squares, icons for hut, fence, sun and honey combs, and weapons such as bows, arrows, sword and lancer are also present in these paintings. Pandavulakonda (Pandavulagutta) site was first discovered in the year 1990 by archaeologists Ramakrishna Rao and S. S. Rangacharyulu of the Department of Archaeology and Museums.
The paintings also feature geometrical designs and impressions in green, red, yellow and white pigment colours. Besides these rock paintings, inscriptions of Rastrakuta times and fresco paintings of late medieval period have also been reported from these hillocks. Some of the paintings were superimposed, depicting highly developed anatomical features and curves.
Book – “Rock Art Sites in Telangana”
This is a book, jointly published by the Departments of Tourism and Archaeology and Museums, in year 2015. The book contains information on nearly 20 Rock Art Sites discovered in Telangana. The staff of the department of Archaeology and Museums reported these sites. Among the sites mentioned in this book, the Pandavulagutta is rich in terms of number of paintings, rock shelters and its habitation, right from the Mesolithic to medieval times.The book was released on April 18th, 2015 marking the World Heritage Day celebrations.