The mystery behind the megaliths

The mystery behind the megaliths

Medigeshi fort in Kasapura. Photos by author

There are ancient mysteries in the world that archaeologists, historians and scientists are unable to crack, yet. Menhirs, the ancient megalithic monuments in a remote village of Kasapura at the base of Medigeshi Fort in Madhugiri taluk, Tumakuru district are among them.

Kasapura is a nondescript village amidst a cluster of sacred craggy hills and mountains such as Ramadevara Betta, Benakana Betta, Shankara Betta, Eranna Betta, Brahmadevara Betta and Medigeshi Betta. These hills are said to be created by tectonic forces.

In a piece of land owned by Kumbarara Timmanna in this village, there are a number of megalithic monuments dating back to the iron age. This piece of land is priceless for archaeologists and historians.

Menhirs are built with big granite slabs of 15 to 20 feet tall and 2 feet wide and are encircled by small stones. These are said to be the burial grounds of celebrated personalities. 

Generally, they were built within the iron ore mine or close to the mine area.

H K Slater (1901), a state geologist, discovered a dozen of menhirs in Chikkanayakanahalli iron ore mines and reported that many were destroyed. As reported in a Gazetteer, these monuments were the first to be traced.

But there are no reports of iron ore deposits in and around Kasapura or of iron being smelted.

M Nandhishwar, who extensively studied the megalithic monuments, in his article Antiquities of Kasapura writes, “They are dramatic and unique structures. Why were they built on an isolated piece of land in a remote village? The mystery of these megalithic monuments is hitherto unknown in history and archaeology.”  

Ancients chose this area to build megalithic monuments hoping that they were secured by sacred mountains. The caves in the sacred mountains could also be a place where they hid treasure. Archaeological exploration can only throw more light on these enigmatic monuments.

 (The author is a geophysicist)