Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Vikramkhol-Bikramkhol-Belpahad-Grindola-Rock Art-Jharsuguda-Odisha

Vikramkhol (Bikramkhol) :

Facing Northeast Vikramkhol Rock Shelter bears the illegible signature of the time past.  You can reach this placer via Jharsuguda -Belpahar - Grindola road. From Grindola to Vikramkhol is 8 kms by Jungle road. Inside a dense forest where a crescent shape rocks shelter at the foothill.

The massive rock shelter measures 37 meter in length and 8 meter in height. Depicting various geometric and weird characters Vikramkhol inscriptions at places take the shape of identifiable animals and floral patterns. The engravings still have traces of red ochre fillings.

The geometric figures and characters running horizontal lines defy sequence and baffle the interpreter. Drawn in monochromatic and polychromatic floral patterns have withstood the ravages of time. This proto-historic inscription belied to have been engraved in 1500 BC is popularly known as the Vikramkhol inscriptions.

 The Shelter is situated at a distance of 26 km to the west of Jharusguda. The rock is a rough sandstone. The rock-shelter is 115 feet in length and 27 feet 7 inches in height from the floor (35 m by 8.4 m). It faces north east. Some of the letters are sharply cut, but the incision-marks of the majority do not show sharp cutting.

 It seems that an iron chisel was not used. Some of the letters are partly cut and partly painted, while some letters are only in paint, but the majority are completely cut. It is evident that all the letters were first painted before being incised, which was the method regularly employed in the period of Brahmi inscription.

 The color of the paint is red ochre, with which we are familiar in the pre-historic and historic caves and cave-buildings in India. The inscription was discovered by an educated Sadhu, Swami Jnamananda. An examination of the letters, which at first sight give the impression of having Brahmi forms, showed that the writing was a mixture of Brahmi forms and a developed type of the Mohenjodaro script. Due to that some Historian links the inscription as an intermediary between Harappan and earliest Brahmi.

 Vikramkhol also spelled Bikramkhol lies in Reserved Forest of Belpahar range, at a distance of 12 k.m. from Belpahar. The place is known for prehistoric rock art and rock inscriptions dated around 3000 BCE. Details about the caves were first published in Indian Antiquary in 1935 by the efforts of historian K.P.Jayaswal. The inscriptions were studied in 1955.

The inscriptions are yet to be studied in detail. A replica of the inscription is exhibited in State Museum of Odisha. Some historians have felt that, due to negligence and apathy by Government agencies, the inscriptions are fading out and damaged by vandals. Activities of Coal mines in surrounding hills, industries like sponge iron are putting environmental pressure on this prehistoric archeological site.

 The rock shelter, where the inscriptions are found, is not fully protected and kept open to atmosphere, giving scope for vandals and visitors to deface the inscriptions. As it is located inside Reserve Forest of Belpahar range, the remote access to the place has also contributed to neglect by Government Agencies. In this inaccessible dense forest ancient people lived surviving on fruits, roots and animal meat.  During 4000 BC there was evolution of human civilization in the region and a script was developed by them. Circular holes have been dug in the wall where weapons, dress and other articles of use were being kept suspended. Even on the floors circular holes have been dug to pound the grains. Bikramkhol has been declared a tourist spot by the Central Government and tourists, historians and researchers from all over the country and abroad. Local Peoples Came here for Picnic also, due to this area facing a huge challange for its survival.

How to Reach:

Take Route from Jharasuguda to Belpahad, then on Belpahad take route towards Grindola. On Grindola you can see a small temple named manikeswari Temple. In that Road take left turn in a forest kutcha road towards Bikramkhol, On near Village Teteyabahal a two lined footstep road goes towards Vikramkhol.