Mancherial: Hyderabad-based historian Dyavanapalli Satyanarayana discovered Mesolithic (middle stone age) paintings in two caves situated in the forests of Buggagattu, Hajipur – 11 km from Mancherial.
The paintings in the Chittarayya Gundu caves date back to 8,500 BC. “The prehistoric paintings at the Kottha Chittarayya Gundu caves were drawn at five places on the sand rock walls of 50 yards long. The first space has a one-foot-long petroglyph of an ox engraved. The second and third spaces are the main drawing (Chittaruvulu), on which several tens of red ocher paintings were drawn,” Satyanarayana, who spotted the paintings two days ago, said.
The historian said the paintings were mostly of horned bulls in rows, deer, antelopes, porcupine and monitor lizard (udumu). Some of the works showed men controlling the oxen with weapons. Similarly, most of the paintings were found on walls of another cave — Patha Chittarayya Gundu — located around 2 km from Kottha Chittarayya Gundu. But these are not clearly visible because the local people manufacture illicitly distilled liquor in the caves. This fades out the paintings, Satyanarayana said.
“Only a half-foot long ox figure in red ochre and a foot-long ox in white are clearly visible on the 30-foot-long wall in the second cave. The paintings can be retrieved by scientific or expert chemical cleaning of the wall. These might date back to 8,500-3,000 BC. But, it has to be established through scientific methods,” he said.
Satyanarayana further felt that the caves were inhabited by people during the subsequent ages — Neolithic and Megalithic — as the human paintings are of metal weapons and grinding stones. “The government may develop the sites as historical and adventurous tourist spots to protect the rare and rich heritage of Telangana,” he said.