Recently, a fascinating combination of prehistoric rock paintings from the Mesolithic period and exquisite artwork from the Kakatiya dynasty were discovered in the Rudragiri hillock.
About Rudragiri hillock:
- It is located in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.
- It is nestled amidst the Eastern Ghats, features five naturally formed rock shelters at its foothills, facing westward.
- These shelters served as living quarters for people during the Mesolithic age around 5000 B.C and they bear witness to the luminous rock paintings of that era.
- Two natural caves at the southern end of the hillock also exhibit exceptional murals from the renowned Kakatiya kingdom.
- Key findings:
- The first cave presents a narrative mural portraying the intense battle between the Vanara brothers, Vali and Sugriva. Both figures stand on the battlefield wielding maces, their faces displaying fierce determination. Rama, positioned behind Sugriva, shoots arrows at Vali.
- A Ramayana fresco depicting Hanuman lifting the Sanjeevani hill with his right hand painted A conch and fire altars can be seen to his right and another prehistoric painting to the left.
- In the middle cave, a grand sketch of Hanuman, accompanied by sacred symbols of the conch (Sankha) and the fire altar (Yagna Vedi), captures visitors’ attention. Hanuman is depicted carrying the Sanjivani hill in his right hand, symbolising his mission to save Lakshmana’s life.
- The third cave houses the prehistoric rock paintings from the Mesolithic era.
- Interestingly, the Kakatiya artist chose the same rock shelter to superimpose the elegant figure of Hanuman, who is portrayed in a unique ‘Anjali’ posture, folding his hands in a divine offering.
- The illustrious Ganapati Deva Maharaja (1199-1262 AD), the founder of Muppavaram temple and a prominent figure of the Kakatiya dynasty, likely patronised the rich ancient mural heritage found at Rudragiri.
What is the Mesolithic period?
- It is also called Middle Stone Age which existed between the Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) and the Neolithic (New Stone Age).
- Timeframe: This period is generally considered to have occurred between approximately 12,000-10,000 years ago
- Lifestyle: During the Mesolithic period, human societies were predominantly hunter-gatherer communities.
Q1) What is Fresco painting?
Fresco painting is a technique of mural painting that has been used for centuries, particularly during the Renaissance period. It involves applying pigments mixed with water onto wet plaster, which then binds the pigments to the wall as it dries. The term "fresco" originates from the Italian word "affresco," meaning "fresh."