Settavarai Stonage Rock Art (Villupuram - Tamil Nadu)

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After wrapping up the 3rd place, here comes the 2nd place... It's called Settavarai. The name of the place made me wonder, coz Setta means Dead in Tamil. But then I came to know it came from Sitthar Varai meaning the hillock of Tamil saint!
This was a rather uphill task. I mean quite literally! From the base its a short walk across a plain from behind the village houses.
Then there's an almost non-existing way to walk uphill. 

Just opposite was this another hill and I loved the way its rocks were placed and the way plants have grown among them!

They route uphill is filled with broken granite and in some places the archaelogical dept has made some ladders attaching boulders!
I think its the natural location of this place that kinda protects it from getting vandalized. Its almost half an hour to 45 mins to climb uphill in that route.
Before reaching atop, we did stop at a location to have something to eat and regain some energy. There atop behind a fence was the rock art! That's Gandhirajan and Veera Raghavan resting for some time. 
The most important drawing here is of this animal. Probably a goat with flames drawn all around it. There's an unidentified object in front of it. My best guess is that its a axe!
Unlike the other 2 places, here are some palm prints. Unusally some palms had 1-2 fingers missing. Gandhirajan's opinion is that, in those days, some people gave fingers are offering to Gods. So these plans may have printed by people who gave such offering.
Some symbols were also there. One was this curvy line, with dots forming straight line. 
Also spotted some fishes.... 
... and some geometrical patterns too. 
3 small boys, from the local village also accompanied us to the hill top. They were so much faster in climbing up and could climb slope-y boulders without any hold or support! I couldn't help but think, if you give training in anything since childhood, that get so easy to do, even the most difficult task! Once again while climbing down, at the same location where we rested earlier, we stopped for a nice group pic. One of those little boys clicked the shot with our camera!
Not just the rock art, here at Settavarai, the location, the trek, the view everything was definitely mind blowing!!!

From Alambadi: On the way from Alambadi to Kilvalai, comes a village called Kandachipuram. There a right turn leads to Kilvalai and a left turn leads to Settavarai. 12 km on that road and a right turn at Kulakkarai Palama St and at about 2 km you'll spot the board of Tamil Nadu Archaelogical Dept.

On Google Maps: 12.167427, 79.259446

Dedicated to K.T.Gandhirajan & Veera Raghavan


An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands


  1. Seems u guys enjoyed this uphill task! Great shots... i liked the last one and a boy standing atop a boulder.

  2. nice to see that these kids enjoyed it.

  3. Fantastic rock formations and amazingly ancient rock art.

  4. Thank you so much Jeevan, Krishna & Ram Cheta!
    Divi, kids loved it. You know that!!!

  5. thank you for your photos in my native place
    i am happy of this moment then i miss you my native place


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