Deep in the ancient Madurai district known in legend as kadambavanam, or forest of the kadamba trees (Neolamarckia cadamba/burflower) in the quiet village of Poosaripatti, has been found the latest collection of rock paintings. This is the thirteenth such cluster to have been found in Madurai.
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.
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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