The Petroglyphs of Konkan: A window into an ancient world

The Petroglyphs of Konkan: A window into an ancient world

India is home to a plethora of marvellous ancient architecture, art, and craft depicting fascinating artistry, which has withstood the test of time. Many of these wonders are yet to be fully understood. Some of the fascinating ancient ruins are full of thousand-year-old mysteries that offer a riddle to their spectators. Petroglyphs, the magnificent rock carvings, is one of the spectacular ancient art forms. Petroglyphs are one of the significant discoveries of recent times. The discovery of more than 1,000 rock carvings, in the districts of Ratnagiri and Rajapur in Maharashtra opens a window into an ancient world. Archaeologists believe that the Petroglyph could be 10,000 years old.

Local enthusiasts, Mr. Sudhir Risbud, and his two companions were the first to bring Petroglyphs to light. This was the result of almost six years of consistent efforts taken by them. These carvings depict a variety of images of animals, birds, human figures, and geometrical designs. It is expected that these Petroglyphs would provide an insight into the early history of the Konkan region.

Petroglyphs:

Petroglyphs are one of the prehistoric forms of art carved into the flat, open laterite rock surface/ laterite plateau. These Petroglyphs found in the districts of Ratnagiri and Rajapur depict numerous variety of images. They are mainly, animals, birds, aquatic Animals, Human Figures, Geometrical designs, etc.

 

Some of the petroglyphs depict rhinoceroses and hippos, two species that were never thought to be prevalent in this part of India. It raises various questions and doubts among the archaeologists studying petroglyphs. According to archaeologists, these petroglyphs, however, suggest that the Konkan may have once been a lot like the rainforests where these animals are typically found. Some of the rock carvings are life-size, for example, an elephant and tiger petroglyph at Kasheli in Ratnagiri district and some human figures.

Similar petroglyphs have been discovered in the Sindhudurg district, Usgalimal, south Goa, and Kollur, Karnataka. Other prominent petroglyph and rock art sites in India are the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh, rock carvings in Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, and petroglyphs from the Tindivanam and Villupuram districts in Tamil Nadu and Unakoti in Tripura.

The Significance of Petroglyphs:

According to State Archaeological Department, the discovery of Petroglyphs in the districts of Ratnagiri and Rajapur could open up a whole new chapter in the history of the Konkan region. Petroglyphs are very significant from the perspective of reconstruction of the history of Konkan. These Petroglyphs reveal various unknown facts such as how the man was, how he lived here etc. However the sites of Petroglyphs are at huge risk of being lost or damaged from road construction, tree plantation, mining, and erosion (human and natural).

 

Mr. Risbud, along with his companions has started convincing the local villagers about the importance of Petroglyphs, the sites, and the need to protect them. They have built a ring of bricks around the petroglyphs and have requested the land owners to build such boundaries protecting the sites. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporations has shown interest in developing some of the sites and converting them into a tourist circuit that would attract a lot of travellers and history lovers. 

Things to keep in mind while visiting Petroglyphs sites:

  1. The Petroglyphs sites must be well protected and conserved as they are the precious prehistoric forms of art.
  2. Do not visit the sites by yourself, as the Petroglyphs locations are on private lands. It is recommended to have a guide to show you the exact locations of the petroglyphs and help interpret carvings. One can contact the Ratnagiri tourism department or the local enthusiasts.
  3. Do not walk on any of the carvings as any human activity might cause irreversible damage to the carvings.
  4. Do not make any attempt to mark out the carvings of stone pens, chalks, or by some other method. It might cause damage to the carvings.
  5. Be aware of snakes and stick to the paths.

The petroglyphs are the hidden treasure, holding the secrets of the past.  Hence it is our responsibility to protect and preserve the ancient treasure. Do not miss to witness one of the marvellous prehistoric forms of art when in Konkan.

tarkarli

Malvan – Sindhudurg: The Crown of Konkan

Malvan is a part of the Sindhudurg region, the southern part of the Konkan Region of Maharashtra, sharing a boundary with the state of Goa. It welcomes tourists with its diverse range of attractions like natural beautiful beaches, huge forts, many temples, etc. This Konkani region is well known for Tarkarli beach and Sindhudurg fort built by Shivaji Maharaj. Malvani seafood, sweets, mangoes, cashews, and dried fruits are something not to miss while traveling to Konkan. Knowing more about Malvan – Sindhudurg: The Crown of Konkan will surely help you in planning for your next weekend gateway.

What are some famous beaches of Malvan ?

Considering the enticing beaches, luxurious stays available, and variety of water sports offered, Tarkarli is renowned as “Maldives of Maharashtra”. The only Snorkeling and Scuba Diving training center in Maharashtra, Tarkarli does not fail to amuse people with other activities like parasailing, Banana boat rides, etc. Malvan beach is also favored by many honeymoon couples, as it offers nightlife in the form of pubs and bars. Tsunami Island is formed by the tsunami as the name suggests, now hosts a varied range of water sports. Devbagh beach, Kolamb beach, and Chivla beach are less crowded, and ideal for those who seek peace and calm in the serenity. Achara beach is certainly tempting for book lovers for its vintage library, also for lighthouse and dolphin spotting.
tarkarli

What are some famous forts of Malvan ?

Sindhudurg fort is the main attraction for people of all age groups for not only the engaging historical background but also the splendid scenery it offers from the top. Marvel of Maratha architecture, this fort spreads over 48 acres of land and houses the only Shivaji Maharaj temple in it. The structure of the fort is designed in a way that enemies should not be able to recognize the main entrance to the fort. Vijaydurg Fort is another specimen, built by Shivaji Maharaj in the 17th century, surrounded by the Arabian sea from 3 sides. It is also appealing to tourists for its 11 km beach stretch and water sports available there. Nivati Fort, Sarjekot Fort, and Padmagad Fort are other forts one can visit. sindhudurg

Apart from scenic beaches and iconic forts, what are some other famous tourist spots in Malvan ?

The rock garden is one of the very desirable spots, which offers the wondrous view of sea waves splashing against the huge rocks. People do spend a considerable amount of time in this manicured rock garden. Malvan Marine Sanctuary is a place that should not be missed by a tourist. Exotic corals of marine life are the key attractions there.
rock garden

What are some famous temples Malvan ?

Historic and religious temples drive in a lot of crowds in India. Rameshwar temple is one of the most important places to visit, as it is considered as 1 of the 12 mighty Jyotirlingas, hosting two Shivlingas. Suvarna Ganesha temple has a pure golden idol of Ganesha, and Sateri Devi Jal Mandir is different and beautiful, encircled by water as the name suggests.RameshwarTemple

Why Sawantwadi is famous ?

Sawantwadi, which is famous for its wooden handicraft products, is easily reachable from the Malvan area. Sawantwadi palace conducts workshops for people interested in local art and craft, which helps in promoting them. Sawantwadi lacework, wooden crafts, and Ganjifa art are famous throughout India. Also, it is located on National Highway NH17, which connects Goa and Mumbai. Therefore, Sawantwadi has become a popular weekend getaway for busy people from citiesSawantwadi

How to reach Malvan ?

By Road: You can reach Malvan from Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, and Goa
Mumbai to Malvan (550 Kms/12 Hrs): Sion – Vashi – Panvel – Pen – Mahad – Khed – Chiplun – Sangameshwar – Hatakhamba – Rajapur – Kankavali – Kasal – Chouke – Malvan
Pune to Malvan (390 Kms/09 Hrs): Pune – Paud – Mulashi – Tamhini Ghat – Mangaon – Mahad – Poladpur – Chiplun – Sangameshwar – Hatakhamba – Rajapur – Kankavali – Kasal – Chouke – Malvan
Kolhapur to Malvan (160 Kms/4 Hrs): Kolhapur – Radhanagari – Dajipur – Fonda – Nadgaon – Kanakavali – Kasal – Chouke – Malvan
From Pune, you can also travel to Kolhapur and follow Kolhapur to the Malvan route. You will reach Malvan at the same time.
The overnight buses from Pune, Mumbai & Kolhapur to Goa stop at Savantwadi bus stop. You can disembark there
Belgaum to Malvan (146 Kms/4 Hrs): If you are traveling from Karnataka, you can first reach Belgaum. Then follow the route: Belgaum – Chandgad -Amboli – Malvan.

By Train: You can reach Kudal railway station from Mumbai & Goa.

By Air: Goa is the nearest International airport (150 Kms) from Malvan with a good number of Domestic and International flights. Kolhapur airport and Belgaum airport (both 150 km from Malvan) also have good connectivity from Mumbai and Bangalore respectively. Sindudurga Airport also known as Chipi Airport was formally inaugurated in 2019 which is 12 km from Malvan. Commercial flights are expected to start soon.

All these incredible features of Malvan – Sindhudurg: The Crown of Konkan assure the awakening of the traveler in you.