The stone is 86 cm high and 75 cm wide and the characters are not fully readable
A hero stone dating back to eighth Century with Tamil inscriptions in Vatteluttu was discovered at Koothampalayam forest area in the district here recently.
Members of the Yaakkai Voluntary Organisation comprising Chithalingan, Sudhakar Nalliyappan and Kumaravel Ramasamy, found the hero stone on the premises of Veerabhadra Swamy temple that is located along the forest stream at the Tamil Nadu – Karnataka border. The stone is 86 cm high and 75 cm wide and the characters are not fully readable, except a few words that are recognisable. The stone is erected in the memory of a warrior who died during a cattle raid. The warrior is depicted with a sword in his right hand and a bow in his left hand, facing the enemy with courage.
“This type of iconography is unique to Tamil Nadu, which can be seen in the early Pallava period hero stones. It seems the artists, who sculpt sculptures, have gone from Pallava country to Karnataka since the hero stone is not culturally mixed and follows the Tamil script and tradition even though it is located near the border”, said Mr. Kumaravel Rangasamy.
Members said that many rare archaeological sites, including prehistoric burial sites, rock paintings and ancient Tamil writings were found in hamlets in Bargur, Kadambur and Talavadi, including a hero stone with inscriptions of 5th and 6th Centuries AD in Bargur. “These are the proof that the main highways coming from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu have passed through this route”, members said. They said that many hero stones in the forest area near the newly identified stone belong to the 12th century and are sati stones raised for the wives of the warriors who lost their lives fighting wild animals.
The hero stones are evidence to confirm the large number of settlements in forest areas that were occupied by people for a long time. “Further, there is ample evidence to support the fact that major trade routes began and continued about 1,500 years ago on the current route through Bargur, Thamaraikarai and Eratti”, they added.
Hero stones inscriptions record the cultural features of a land and Yaakkai has so far documented more than 100 hero stones from the hilly and terrestrial areas of the Erode district, members added.
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