Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tunnel of Eupalinos - Do we have any??

Strictly speaking I should not be talking about the "Tunnel of Eupalinos" in this blog titled megalithic burial sites in TamilNadu. But I wish to take a exception here.
The tunnel of Eupalinos was built in the 6th Century BC in the greek Island of Samos. Its length is 1036 mtrs and was made beneath a mountain of limestone. The thing that makes it a miracle is the fact that, the tunnel was started from both its end simultaneously and completed by meeting at the centre. Its mindboggling to figure out, how they managed to maintain the course and successfully complete it. Number of Hypothesis exists on how they managed to do it, but that i shall keep beyond the scope of this blog.
When i visited ancient temples and forts in Tamilnadu, one of the popular legends one hears about is the tunnels which connected one particular place with other places miles away. I have infact seen such a tunnel entrance at Rockfort temple at Trichirappalli. Now I am really curious, why no one made an attempt to check whether these tunnels really exists or not? second, was there any serious attempt to excavate any of these tunnels.Is there a structured study carried out by any Govt or private organisation on this tunnels...Iam curious,....very very curious to know....

Visit to Munnar

Last month aVisit to Munnar created a lot of expectation in me. Munnar is a hill station in the neighbouring state of Kerala. We were to take the Munnar-Alluva road on our way to Munnar from Ernakulam. Historically, Kodungallur(known as Muziri in olden days, near present day ernakulam) is known for the sea port from pre christian era.Some where around 10th Century AD, Floods in the Periyar river destroyed this port city and was believed to be a cause for formation of the present day port at Cochin.

Munnar-Alluva road was a very important trade link between Ancient tamilnadu and Port city of Kodungallur. I assume this road must have been a major trade route from at least 4000 years ago. i have read from internet sources that the present day Munnar Alluva road is running almost the same way it had run thousands of years ago, but we can never be sure of that, because the road essentially follows the periyar river and because of geological factors the river might have changed its course many times during the past.

The ancientness of the road is being validated by the presence of large no of Dolmens and burial sites along its course.So I was very eager that I might see atleast a couple of Dolmens along the road, but the driver disappointed by saying that most of the dolmens are atleast a kilometer walk away in the dense jungle. Since I was on a short family trip, I thought it would'nt be fair on my part to make everyone wait for my visit.

Also I have trekked in this region in my school days and had seen a lot of dolmens at that time. Since there are a lot of visitors in this part and the guides and local people are well aware of the significance of Dolmens, I believe they will remain preserved till I make a trip again to this region, It was a disappointment,but this short visit will definitely help me in planning my next trip (Exclusively for Dolmens) effectively.