DOLMEN IN TELENGANA

DOLMEN IN TELENGANA
Credit: Manonmani Pudhuezuthu

The word megalith has stemmed from the merger of two Greek terms of "mega" meaning large and "lithic" signifying stone.

Presently the megalithic tribes of India use various structures of stone as burials or memorials of the dead. However in the past megaliths were not only sepulchral/funerary structures but were also used both as memorials of the dead and to commemorate various events of the family and that of the community. Megaliths were found even to be used as boundary markers and also as astronomical structures.


Each passing day numerous ancient megaliths get destroyed in India and we have no record of this disaster. It is sad that no government agencies like the ASI, the State Archaeological Depts and the District Administrations demonstrate any interest in their protection perhaps for their tribal origin and also possibly because megaliths to them do not appear to be significant relics of our land.

In actuality prehistoric megaliths are a significant source of our ancient history and their preservation is imperative as these monuments are evidences that India was indeed a land of the tribals in hoary times. A few of them however suggests that astronomy and geometry was known to the megalithic tribals millennias prior to the emergence of the Brahmanical astronomer/mathematicians. Obliteration of prehistoric megaliths is bound to erase this verity.

To view a few photographs of megaliths of India visit:

http://www.megalithsindia.com/2010/11/images-of-megaliths.html

The photographs and essays from this website may be used for research purposes giving credit to it.

Come let’s celebrate megaliths…

HISTORY BOOKS OF JHARKHAND WILL NOW TEACH MY RESEARCH ON MEGALITHS FROM THIS YEAR...now this is some news !!!

DOLMEN of JHARKHAND

DOLMEN of JHARKHAND
LOHARDAGGA. JHARKHAND

THE ENORMOUS MEGALITHIC SITE OF CHOKAHATU


©Subhashis Das

Lat: 23 deg 10' North
Long: 85 deg 56' East

Chokahatu. In the austric Mundaric language (one of the most abundantly spoken languages in primitive India and currently  is the speech of hundreds and thousands of tribals in the east and the central of contemporary India) it means 'the land of mourning'.
Chokahatu, situated about 80 kms south-east of the capital city of Ranchi is primarily a megalithic burial ground of the Mundas. Such burial grounds are known as sasandiri, harsali, haragarhi etc in the local Mundaric languages and can be found in almost all the tribal villages in and around Ranchi.

The sepulchral slabs


The burial slabs. The capstone in the foreground has a porthole

But Chokahatu is different. 
It is enormous in size. It is so huge that you can get lost amidst the sea of stones.

Chokahatu has only two menhirs and the rest are all burial slabs and dolmens. The dolmens are also known as sasandiri to the Oraons, Hos, Mundas and the Asurs.The site was discovered by one T.F.Pepe way back in the late 19th century (Mr.Pepe like Mr.Babington has the rarest disticntion of discovering numerous megaliths in India in the 19th century). Pepe reported the site to Col.Dalton who visited here in 1871.




Dalton was bewildered at the enormity of the site.He wrote in the "Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal" Vol.42 in 1872 that his helpers counted the sepulchral slabs to be around 8000 and the area was more than a whopping 7 acres. He believed that there must be an understratum of these graves and this site must be about two thousand years old. The villagers however disagreed with me , they affirmed the site is of about 14 acres and must be more than two thousand year of age.
Well that's for the archaeologists to decide, if  they ever arrive here.


Self-portrait alongside a sasandiri dolmen with a large capstone.

People since very olden times must have been bringing the bones of the deceased for a burial in this sacred land from all over the country, the villagers told me. Even today people come from far off places for burial in this holy land. They build dolmens on the dead of their relatives,carting the slabs on vehicles. 


...another sasandiri dolmen

What makes Chokahatu more significant to the scholars and the common man is its continued use since its inception. 


A few moderns day commemorative sasandiri dolmens.


Chokahatu is one of the oldest historical remains of our country and it still being used in an uninterrupted manner since hoary antiquity is also an illustration of its living heritage status. It therefore demands a World Heritage position. 

Chokahatu, such a significant site, lingers in utter negligence like any other megalithic site in India, but then megaliths being tribal heritages are not worthy of respect, here.


9 comments:

I must admit yours is a fantastic website.One learns so much from it.

I am just surprised to learn about Chokahatu. Why cannot Jharkhand capitalise on such sites for international tourism?
S.K.Satpathy

As an interested but total amateur, your pictures as well as the appended information has left me gasping. I am amazed at the indifference of our ASI to what could well be a facet of our heritage that we must be virtually ignorant of. My cousin has just completed her M.A in archaeology from C.U. I have advised her to immediately visit my FB home page and look up your posts. Subhashis, it strikes me that given the slumber of our very own ASI, why should you not take up the matter with the U.N? That our country did at all have any pre-aryan culture is mind boggling. Mind you, this is NOT my view at all! If most of these are burial grounds though, some still in use, it appears that there may be a problem with archaeological "digs," perhaps. CARRY ON THE GOOD WORK, MATE! Our tribals, so long exploited, so long deprived deserve their moment in the sun!

Kalyan
Your reaction is very inspiring. You speak of the indifference of ASI, just go through another post which I had put in last night,read through it and tears are bound to stand on your eyes. Visit my site : www.megaliths-india.blogspot.com and click on the tab "ROLA MEGALITHS AT THE VERGE OF DESTRUCTION". and then react.

Good you have advised your cousin to visit my blog. In fact megaliths in Indian archaeology are not that much venerated perhaps for their aboriginal origin. Neither do they nurture much regard for tribals. Indian Histroy for them is only Hinduism/Brahamnism/Aryanism and Islam . For them tribals had nothing to contribute to our country.

Strangely when i have archaeologists archaeoastronomners, scholars or even simple tourists from UK, France, Russia, Germany visiting my discovered megalithic sites in Jharkhand or elsewhere , I find stark difference between them and us. Their understanding of India is far profound.

When I had visited Chokahatu firstly in 2003/2004, none of the archaeological depts could provide me with any info.In the village I was told I was the only Indian in many years to have visited the site; the site was usually visited by anthropologists from UK and France and Germany.

I am trying to get a World heritage Status for Chokahatu for being not only one of the the largest burial sites but for the practice of the continued living tradition of megalithism since over 2000 years.

Thank you Kalyan for your inspiring words. Take your time and go through my site. Let me brag a bit : Kalyan this is the only blog on megaliths in India.

Among the many things these tell us, they also tell us, our tribals if anything, were not dumb as some make it sound.
They related to nature well. Tried to understand nature and live with nature.
Astronomy and these megaliths are just, one part of this knowledge.

These enhance our respect for the simple native people of this world.
regds
hari dk

first of all i must congrats you for your amazing field work in the contest of Megalithic culture of India.
me too interested in Megalithic culture and doing my PhD on the same subject. currently i am working at Dept of Archaeology Maharashtra and planing to excavate some of the Megalithic burial located in Vidarbha region.
i want to visit the sites you discovered.
have u discovered any megalithic burial site in southern MP or Chhatisgarh area?
i would like to tell you that plese search habitation of these ancient people............

another

Virag Ji,

Thank you for liking my work and I presume you have also looked into other post of my website.

I am very happy to learn that you are working on the burials of Vidharbha. I have some news of a few discovered megaliths of Vidharbha in the " megalithic activities section" of my site. Does that figure your site as well?
You can visit my sites, but please inform me in advance so that I could arrange myself accordingly.

So far as megaliths of Chattisgarh is concerned please visit :http://www.megalithindia.in/2011/11/profile-of-human-head-in-form-of.html

Regards

Subhashis das

So far as

Subhashis I have posted a page about Chokahatu along with your petition. Many thanks for allowing us to use some photos

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=33786

Kind Regards,
Andy

you are doing phenomenal job.its realy appriciable.since i belong to munda tribe as far as i know my father once told me that all the surname of munda like hurad(kachchap),sandil,nag,etc..are the original surnames.hindus(aryans)have taken this from ours.since aryans invade india they were like landless or can say religionless.so they enter our land and adopt tribal cultures and traditions and populated here.because of this adaptation many festivals and cultures of hindus are similar to tribal's cultures and festivals.for eg:chat puja,baisakhi,pongal,etc etc..aryans not only inhabited tribal lands but also adopted the religion and made their own religion called "HINDU" and also named India as hindustan.
Another interesting fact about jharkhand tribe is,the people are here the real followers or can say the heir of lord Ram and lord Shiva cause their living style and weapons are similar to these lords....:)

Good information. Jeyakumar ramasami

MEGALITHIC ACTIVITIES IN INDIA

Megaliths of Mizoram:

Blog on Brahmagiri megaliths:


THE PIONEER features "CHOKAHATU MEGALITHS"
First ever song composed on a megalith in India. Rajat Chandra sings on the fascinating megaliths of Punkri Birwadih:

Megalithic burials of the dolmen kind of Andhra Pradesh:

Rare megalithic sites discovered in Chattisgarh:

More than 200 megalithic sites found in Dhamtari and Mahasamund districts of Chattisgarh. Visit:http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/nation/north/rare-megalithic-sites-discovered-chhattisgarh-778