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Rajasthan, a treasure of rock art sites!

Rajasthan, a treasure of rock art sites!

‘Of the reported 3,000 rock art shelters 500 marked by rock arts’

Udaipur : Rajasthan contains large quantity of rock art sites. Except for the Thar desert now painting have been discovered from all the regions of Rajasthan, archeologists claim. In the middle part of the Rajasthan, many rock paintings have been reported from the small granite hills on either side of the of the rivers of the Aravalli mountain range circulated from south to north. In a bid to spread awareness among public on the first creative art of humankind, history enthusiasts are organizing an exhibition here to depict the world of rock art. The event is a joint venture of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi and Sahitya Sansthan of Janardan Rai Nagar Rajasthan Vidyapeeth.

On the stylistic characteristics of geographical, regional and rock paintings, the entire land of Rajasthan is divided into four parts – North-Eastern including Jaipur, Alwar, Bharatpur and SawaiMadhopur. South-eastern comprising of Kota, Bundi, Jhalawara and Baran, the Banas river area of Mewar area -Udaipur, Chittorgarh and Bhilwara, South-western Rajasthan includes Ajmer, Pali, Jodhpur and Sirohi and fourthly the north-west Rajasthan comprising Shekhawati region of Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Churu. “ In terms of rock art, the south-eastern region of Rajasthan in Chambal river valley area is more prosperous. The first rock paintings in Rajasthan were discovered in the field of Dara (Kota) by Dr. Vishnu Sridhar Wakankar in 1953, and subsequently, as a result of the research done so far, about 3,000 rock art shelters have been reported from Rajasthan, of which about 500 are marked by rock arts, which are based on both pictographs and petroglyphs” Prof JS Kharakwal an expert in rock paintings told Udaipur Kiran.

Themes such as animal-bird in single and groups, monogamous and collective human beings, hunting scenes, community activities, war scenes and geometrical shapes, etc. Murjari in Ajmer district and in BagraBhata near Gohla village, Sikar region were reported cup makers. “A variety of subjects such hunting, war fare, geometric and non geometric motifs, shamans , dancing figures, animals, birds, vegetation has been depicted in the shelters. Apart from paintings, bruising, cup-marks petroglyphs have also been discovered in the Aravalis” Kharakwal informs.

Based on the technological characteristics of the rock arts in Rajasthan, chronologically included from the Upper Palaeolithc period (30,000 BC) to till medieval period. Tribal people living in some of the regions still practicing same kind of painting technology adhered to nature. The tribal people living in the forested areas of Rajasthan are still associated with rock art forms, whose living art traditions are evident from the graffiti on their house walls.

The earliest discovery of prehistoric rock art was made in India, twelve years before the discovery of Altamira in Spain. Archibald Carlleyle discovered rock paintings at Sohagihat in the Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh in 1867. The rock arts in the western region is mainly distributed over Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat.Rock art tradition in the state of Gujarat was brought to light in the 70’s of the last century. Most of the rock art sites are situated in the eastern periphery of the state and forming a kind of continuity from Rajasthan in the north and Madhya Pradesh in the south. In the western region, rock paintings are mainly found in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa.

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