Iron Age rock arts found at Kudumianmalai

Kudumianmalai  paintings paintings in red, black, and yellow are found in about 20 spots

Rock arts of Iron Age (Megalithic period), believed to be 4,000 years old, have been discovered at Kudumianmalai in Pudukottai district.

J. Raja Mohamad, president, Pudukkottai Historical and Cultural Research Centre, and Rajendran, secretary, have found these painting during the field study in the area.

Kudumianmalai and its surrounding areas are rich in Megalithic excavations. The Tamil Brahmi inscription of third century AD, rock beds of Jain monks, cave temple of the Pandyas, and the inscription of musical treatise of 9th century A.D, temples built by Cholas, Pandyas, Vijayanagar kings, Nayaks, Thondaimans, are some of the antiquarian remains at Kudumianmalai. The discovery of the ancient rock art attests further to the posterity of human activity in the area, according to Dr. Raja Mohamad.

The paintings are found in a rock about 30 feet high, behind the Kudumianmalai temple.

The paintings in red, black, and yellow are found in about 20 spots throughout the length of the rock on its eastern face.

Man with a bow (in red), human figure, and an animal (in black), trees and creepers are a few of the legible paintings in the group. Since the paintings are drawn in the near vertical rock, most of them have been damaged because of vagaries of the weather and vandalism. However, the vestiges of these ancient paintings are evidence to the remote past of the place.

The paintings are executed with the natural colour pigments such as red and yellow ochre, hematite stone and charcoal, in water medium. The slow action of water on the siliceous rock fixes the pigments firmly on the rock rendering them immune to the solvent action of water.

The chronology of the rock art in South India is believed to be about 4,000 to 5,000 years old, Dr. Raja Mohamad says.

The paintings at Kudumianmalai resemble other paintings found at places such as Alampadi in Villupuram and Sirumalai in Dindigal.

Dr. Raja Mohamad who is engaged in a project study on the ancient history and culture of Pudukottai is hopeful of bringing more such new evidences on the early history of the region.