Tuesday, January 8, 2008

68. Pandavara kallu: Neolithic tombs

On the Bantwal –Belthangadi road, take a deviation at Madyanthar township off Uppinangadi cross road for about three kilometers, you shall reach Pandavara kallu, a site of archeological importance that forms a part of Badaga Kajekar village (Belthangadi taluk, Dakshina Kannada district.).
Archeological site
The name ‘Pandavara kallu’ (Stones of Pandava) has come from an odd group of stone structures consisting of erect slabs of granite, covered by flat slabs of granite. Eye witnesses inform that the structure was intact several years ago but now dilapidated with stone slabs scattered helter-skelter thanks to the intervention of land developers as well as irresponsible urchins. However, a local institution has put up a sign post declaring the area as historical monument.
The structure was called 'Stones of Pandavas' because of their large size. Local people believed that Pandava brothers on exile came and lived in this village for some time, hiding inside these stone structure specially created by them.
But this assumption of local people may not be true. The structure is a megalithic burial structure called ‘dolmen’ or ‘Sasandiri’.(Sasan=burial ground or ‘Smashan’; diri=erected stone slabs) among Munda tribes.Similar Neolithic 'dolmen' burial structures have been reported from different parts of the world. Malini Srivastava (2007) in a research paper, available online, describes the ‘Sasandiri’ burial structures prevalent among Munda tribes of Chotanagapur.
The stone burial structure (Sasindiri) at Pandavara kallu is a vestige of Early Munda culture that predated the present Tulu culture and civilization. It was a general practice among the early tribes to bury the dead, before the arrival of Tulu immigrants, ca. 800-600BC, who introduced the custom of cremating the dead bodies. The notion of cremation of dead bodies was initiated during the cemetery H culture of Indus valley.
There could many more such vestiges, unreported and lying in various stages of preservation in other remote corners of the District. Those who can recognize such structures should make it a point to report them promptly to the archeologists/historians for further studies.

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Books for Reference

  • A Comparative Study of Tulu Dialects By Dr. Padmanabha Kekunnaya. Govinda Pai Reserach Centre, UDupi. 1994
  • Koti Chennaya: Janapadiya Adhyayana. By Dr. Vamana Nandavar. Hemanshu Prakashana ,Mangalore.2001.
  • Male kudiyaru. Dr B. A.Viveka Rai and D.Yadupathi Gowda, Mangalore University,1996.
  • Mogaveera Samskriti By Venkataraja Punimchattaya. Karnataka Sahitya Academy.1993.
  • Mugeraru:Jananga Janapada Adhyayana. By Dr Abhaya Kumar Kaukradi.Kannada & Culture Directorate,Bangalore & Karnataka Tulu Academy, Mangalore,1997.
  • Puttubalakeya Pad-danagalu. Ed: Dr B.A.Viveka Rai,Yadupati Gowda and Rajashri, Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Tulu Peeta. Mangalore University.2004
  • Se'erige. Ed:Dr K.Chinnapa Gowda.Madipu Prakashana,Mangalagangotri,2000.
  • Studies in Tuluva History and Culture.by Dr P Gururaja Bhat (1975).Milagres College,Kallinapur,Udupi.
  • Taulava Sanskriti by Dr.B.A.Viveka Rai, Sahyadri Prakashana,Mysore 1977
  • TuLu naaDu-nuDi By Dr.PalthaDi Ramakrishna Achar, Puttur.
  • TuLu NighanTu. (Editor in Chief: Dr U.P.Upadhyaya, Govinda Pai Research Centre,Udupi. Six volumes. 1988 to 1997
  • Tulu Patero-A Philology & Grammar of Tulu Language by Budhananda Shivalli.2004.Mandira Prakashana Mangalore. p.317. (The book is in Tulu Language using Kannada script)
  • TuLunadina ShasanagaLa Sanskritika Adhyayana. By Shaila T. Verma (2002) Jnanodaya Prakashana,Bangalore, p.304.(Kannada)
  • Tuluvala Baliyendre. Compiled by N.A.Sheenappa Hegde,Polali,Sri Devi Prakashana,Parkala,1929/1999

A Coastal estuary

A Coastal estuary
Holegadde near Honavar,Uttara Kannada dist, Karnataka

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