- Like many important monuments across India, the prehistoric rock paintings in Telangana’s Jayashankar Bhupalpally district are prey to confessions of undying love and names etched for posterity.
- Increasing defacement, including instances of scraped graffiti and smeared oil paints, are a cause for grave concern at the millennia-old rock paintings of Pandavulagutta, which trace the evolution of human knowledge.
- Pandavulagutta is home to painted rock shelters dating to 10000 BC-8000 BC, an 8th century inscription of the Rashtrakuta period, and painted frescoes from the 12th century Kakatiya empire.
- The pre-historic rock paintings resemble those at Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh, with flora, fauna and human figures seen in red ochre.
- The Kakatiya artists, on the other hand, painted scenes from the Mahabharata and of the elephant-headed Ganesha.
- For instance, figures of magnificent beauty in a mural frieze, set against a background of thick lime plaster that projects them as if in an open-air theatre, have been ruined by graffiti, with the frescoes scraped from the plaster and the storytelling disrupted.