India

The Konkan Petroglyphs – Kasheli

The Konkan Petroglyphs - Kasheli

The petroglyphs at Kasheli were the last set we visited during our short weekend in the Konkan. It’s astonishing to think that a site of this magnitude and complexity was only discovered in May 2016.

Elephant with enlarged ears ? - Kasheli petroglyphs
Elephant with enlarged ears ? – Kasheli petroglyphs
Birds, deer, elephant head, and much much more - Kasheli petroglyphs
Birds, deer, elephant head, and much much more – Kasheli petroglyphs
Shark and other abstract animals - Kasheli petroglyphs
Shark and other abstract animals – Kasheli petroglyphs

In terms of size and number of carvings, Kasheli is the largest site so far discovered, and I’m afraid almost impossible to sufficiently record photographically without the use of a drone.

A shark carved between the legs of the elephant - Kasheli petroglyphs
A shark carved between the legs of the elephant – Kasheli petroglyphs
Rhino, carved behind the rear leg of the elephant - Kasheli petroglyphs
Rhino, carved behind the rear leg of the elephant – Kasheli petroglyphs
Monkey in the foreground and other animals - Kasheli petroglyphs
Monkey in the foreground and other animals – Kasheli petroglyphs

The centerpiece of the carvings is a massive elephant, larger than life-size, measuring 13m x 18m. Carved within the body of this massive elephant are 82 animal figures, with very few carvings created outside the elephant figure.

Legs and trunk of elephant, with a rhino and shark carved outside - Kasheli petroglyphs
Legs and trunk of elephant, with a rhino and shark carved outside – Kasheli petroglyphs
An assortment of animals, both identifiable and abstract - Kasheli petroglyphs
An assortment of animals, both identifiable and abstract – Kasheli petroglyphs
Ears, head and trunk of the elephant (upside down), with animal carvings within - Kasheli petroglyphs
Ears, head and trunk of the elephant (upside down), with animal carvings within – Kasheli petroglyphs

In total there are 126 figures carved on this plateaux. The variety of animals depicted is incredibly varied; tiger, rhino, boar, peacock, monkey, as well as aquatic animals such as sharks and stingrays. In addition there are a number of more abstract animal depictions that one can not easily identify.

Elephant head with animal carvings within - Kasheli petroglyphs
Elephant head with animal carvings within – Kasheli petroglyphs
Assorted land and aquatic animals - Kasheli petroglyphs
Assorted land and aquatic animals – Kasheli petroglyphs
Assorted land and aquatic animals - Kasheli petroglyphs
Assorted land and aquatic animals – Kasheli petroglyphs

Fortunately, having been discovered very recently, some analysis as been done on the area immediately around the petroglyphs. Here microliths have been found which certainly indicates ancient human activity in the vicinity, although they can’t be necessarily directly associated with the petroglyphs themselves.

Elephant with enlarged ears ? - Kasheli petroglyphs
Elephant with enlarged ears ? – Kasheli petroglyphs
Deer - Kasheli petroglyphs
Deer – Kasheli petroglyphs
Rhino - Kasheli petroglyphs
Rhino – Kasheli petroglyphs
Shark and other abstract animals - Kasheli petroglyphs
Shark and other abstract animals – Kasheli petroglyphs

There are a few more petroglyphs a little distance away from the elephant is isolated positions, it does make me wonder if this site has yet to reveal more secrets.

Headless hippo ? - Kasheli petroglyphs
Headless hippo ? – Kasheli petroglyphs
Isolated carving of a lone shark - Kasheli petroglyphs
Isolated carving of a lone shark – Kasheli petroglyphs

It’s an utterly incredible site, and the best way possible to conclude our weekend exploring some of the petroglyph sites in the Konkan.

It’s been a long two days, time to rest for a bit
Sudhir Risbud and Surendra Thakurdesai
Rutwij Apte and Pallavee Gokhale

This was one of seven petroglyph sites I visited in the Konkan during the course of a weekend. Here’s some quick links to the other sites :


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2 replies »

  1. Lovely ! We tried finding Kaseheli site today but could not in such a short time as we were passing this place…would like to connect n see these places! How can we go about it!! I n my wife are architects n love reading and seeing such findings which say a lot about our forefathers !

    Liked by 1 person

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