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Rare megalithic burial site discovered in Vellore town
A megalithic burial site dated between 1000 BC and 200 AD was discovered in Vellore town on Saturday, the credit for which goes to numismatist and philatelist Tamilvannan.
Tamilvannan, founder of the 3,000 members strong Facebook page called ‘Friends of Vellore’ and who guides enthusiasts on heritage walks regularly, told DT Next that he was informed about the site sometime ago.
He said that a heritage enthusiast had messaged him on WhatsApp requesting him to let him know if he came across any unusual stone formations there.
“He asked me to go to the cemetery near Vellore circuit house at Thorapadi as the stone formation was located a kilometre away from the main road,” he said. The locals, whom he said he sought directions from, told him there was a stone formation like a hut at a place called ‘parai medu’ (hillock of rocks). “I found the site which consisted of a huge stone slab placed over rocks on four sides similar to a house,” he added.
People didn’t know much about the site neither did many of them visited it before, Tamilvannan said.
Later, he discovered that it was a megalithic burial site which dated between 1000 BC and 200 AD. The structure, known as ‘dolmen’, is common in the UK and France. However, such structures were rarely found in this part of the world.
Though he had earlier brought to the notice of the State Archaeological department the existence of ancient Jain beds, caves and temples in Vellore town, he said no action was taken regarding the findings.
“I did not inform any official (about the burial site) since they don’t seem interested in such historic findings. I will include this in my next heritage walk and those understand its importance will get to see it,” Tamilvannan said.
Much to his surprise, Tamilvannan found that the burial site has been home to a mentally-challenged person for the last 20 years. “He lives inside the structure but he knows nothing about it. Local women said he had lived there for two decades,” he said.
Earlier, Tamilvannan had reported the existence of balancing stones about 10 kms at Attukal from Vellore. However, the lack of official action resulted in most of those stones, except two, being removed by stone quarry contractors. “This site can face the similar ending as locals said that someone has already purchased it for Rs 40,000,” he said.