Friday, October 30, 2009

Visit to Megalithic burial sites - Sittannavasal

15.10.2009 -We (my wife,her brother and uncle - all burial site enthusiasts) drove 50 Kms from Trichy to Pudukkotttai city. After an hour's visit to Pudukkottai district museum ( very fine collection of items excavated from Burial sites like iron swords, earthen pots and large burial urns), we drove to sittannavasal,around 20 km from the city.Just around the place,where the Highway is marked with a road sign pointing the exit to the famous Jain caves, on either side of the road is the Megalithic burial site, we almost screamed in excitement. Apart from a board by ASI as a protected site, the area is not fenced. We could count atleast 10 distinguishable stone circles, the circle formed by dark red porous rocks and the burial chamber marked by large granite boulders. It was a remarkable feeling to walk on that ancient site.This is my first visit to a burial site after around 15 years- the last one being in 1994, as part of a school trek, we accidentaly stumbled upon some fifteen Dolmens in a rocky slope of a hill called aattu malai nearAmaravathinagar- coimbatore.
We took some photos and carried on towards the world famous jain caves, again on either side of the road very distinguishable and clearly marked burial sites - these ones are well fenced and better protected than the ones in highway.
We also visited the 8th century Jain caves famous for its paintings. Thanks to Sh.Paramasivam who is the guide and caretaker for the Caves (he works for ASI) we could enjoy the paintings to all its finery and extraordinary reverberating effect when chanting "Om" ,which is to be done in a very specific way, Only sh.Paramasivam could chant "Om" in the way it gets amplified inside the cave. Please don't forget to meet Sh.Paramasivam,without whom the cave cannot be appreciated.
Also we visited the 200 BC cave dwelling(called "Ezhadipattam) of jain monks,which they used when fleeing hostile groups.There is a distinct Tamil Brahmi inscription in the dwelling.

We promised ourselves that we will return back to other sites in Pudukkottai district, the next time we visit Tamilnadu again.
I have posted some photos in this blog, anyone interested can contact me for more photos and info.

Please visit following link for an interesting material on Sittannavasal