First things first, sorry for not posting anything last week. I was off to Pudukottai with some 30 people, to enjoy not just temples and heritage but also nature, and best of all Megalithic Burial Sites!!! Yes, something that goes as back as 2000 yrs old, inspires me more than anything else!!! Remember my old post on 2nd C CE Jain Beds of Arnattan Malai? Its one of the places that I always mention when I talk about my travels!!! So, this one is much more earlier and I went a bit more crazier!!!
So, what is Megalithic Burial? Its the 3rd C BC to 1st C AD (Sangam Period), burials done by the stone age men either in urns (in terracotta pots) or graves (direct burial).
So, here in Pudukottai, such burial sites are er.... should I say several several thousands!!! Yeah, it was. Could be lakhs, too!!! I was awestruck!!! Absolutely speech less!!! They were everywhere - Ambur-patti, Ammachatram, Annavasal, Kizhaiyur, Melur, Mootamapatti, Narangianpatti, Perungalur, Peyal, Poyyamani, Puttambur, Sathyamangalam, Sengalur, Sittannavasal , Tayinippatti, Tekkattur, Tiruppur, Vadaguppatti, Vattanakuruchi and Vilappatti. The place we saw was near Sittannavasal & Ezhadipattam. Locally these are called Mudhu Makkal Thazhi.
Its pretty easy to identify these!!! They look like icing on a black forest cake, see!!!!! Seriously, it did look like black forest icing for me when I saw it first in a very small thumb nail pic in greyscale.
But then, yes, this is how it actually looks like - A huge circle of laterite blocks, with granite slabs in the centre.
Thanks to the nature's fury over the years, the granite here are corroded and smoothened like pebbles!
These granite slabs, a kept in a form of a square of about 3 feet per side, with a partition at the centre, forming 2 rectangles. The body of the dead is kept in a urn in one of these sides and on the other are some of their possessions and food grains. Someone asked a valid question in the group, 'any valuables also kept along with it?'. No, nothing. Mostly it was foodgrains & implements & tools!!!
That's Prof. Muthazhagan showing a crude stone age tool.
There were pieces of terracotta scattered everywhere... At some places I also saw just the brim of the submerged urn over the soil. Those people of that era should have been most probably Jains with the Jain Beds and inscriptions of that era like Arnattan Malai, but extremely high in number here! Yeah, that's where we ventured next. From the stone age to the next few centuries targeting the ancient Jain sites. Wait n watch!!!
To Reach Pudukkottai:
From Chennai: 400 km via Villupuram, Trichy
Trains to Rameshwaram go via Pudukottai.
Trains / Buses can be taken to Trichy and regular buses are available from Trichy.
From Trichy: 50 km. Regular buses are available.
From Madurai: 115 km via Tirupatthur
From Coimbatore: 300 km via Dharapuram, Dindigul
In Pudukottai the burial sites are located in several places. This one is between Narthamalai and Sittannavasal.
Dedicated to Prof. Swaminathan, Prof. Muthazhagan, Prof. Jambunathan, and the whole group...