Deep within the forest of Usilai (Albizia amara) timber thought-about sacred by locals, two intricately designed memorial stones had been discovered by a gaggle of heritage lovers in Maallaikadu, Usilampatti. Worshipped by locals, the constructions are treasure troves showcasing features of Tamil tradition and heritage courting again to the Nayak interval.
It’s mentioned that Usilampatti received its identify from the Usilai forests that had been frequent within the space. On the web site, 4 pillars mark the 2 hero stones. Members of a Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir, an organisation of historical past lovers, accompanied by rock artwork professional and historian Ok T Gandhirajan had ventured into this forest of Usilai timber, which locals think about sacred.
A member of the organisation V Parthiban, says the forest has remained unchanged right here. “Locals don’t gather firewood and even break a twig from these timber or decide flowers or leaves. It’s thought-about a criminal offense to take action and therefore these timber flourish right here,” he mentioned.
Memorial stones are frequent within the state, most have two or three panels with data in writing or drawings concerning the individual for whom the stone was erected, however this one is exclusive, says Gandhirajan. “The stones had 9 layers of panels on them on all 4 sides, and so they depictstories within the small house with accuracy. Hero stones with many layers or panels are often present in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, and it’s doable that these stones had been erected by individuals who migrated right here from these areas.”
From the drawings and stone construction, the professional mentioned, the stones belong to the Nayak interval, about 400 years in the past. The larger of the 2 stones is 10ft in peak and one foot in width. There are 9 panels on the unbroken stones, and the second additionally would have had the identical variety of panels. On the final panel, there are drawings of a Shiva linga and Nandhi, which can consult with heaven and immortality.
One of many tales depicted is of goddess Petchiamman, the deity worshipped by the Pappampatti Nattar group, in Karumathur within the area. She is seen holding an toddler.
There’s one other of a person with a bow and arrow, and one among a person taming a bull after which getting married. A person on horseback is one other diagram on these stones.
An analogous stone of a person on horseback seen in Kongarpuliankulam within the neighbourhood is worshipped by the locals. These stones are known as Veerakambam and plenty of such stones are discovered within the Cumbum area in Theni district, mentioned Gandhirajan.