Megalithic burial site in a state of neglect

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Context:

  • For many, it is just an uninhabited waste land abutting the Tirupati-Kadapa national highway and the Renigunta-Kadapa railway line. Not many know that this piece of land on the outskirts of Tirupati is actually a treasure trove of knowledge that has the potential to open new vistas in archaeological research.

Other Facts:

  • Located in the little-known Venkatapuram village tucked between Chengareddypalle and Karakambadi, it is a megalithic burial site believed to date back to 500-300 B.C. The region is full of history and is an indicator to the likely presence of prehistoric human civilisation.
  • The burial of corpses by megalithic people bears a distinct signature. Some used cairn packing (pouring heap of pebbles over the tomb), some drew anthropomorphic figures on the tombstone and some had a Dolmen’s chamber with a capstone. However, what one finds in Venkatapuram is a ‘stone circle’, that is, a circle formed by placing boulders around the grave.
  • Megalithic people believed in life after death and that the soul would travel to other worlds. Hence they kept food items and tools inside the chamber for use by the dead person.
  • Around 300 megalithic burial sites have been identified so far across Chittoor district, 210 of them by Prof. Ramabrahmam himself. Many of them are in a state of disarray and some have already vanished.
  • The granite hunters are the first to eye them, followed by land encroachers and infrastructure developers.

Source:TH