The word megalith has stemmed from the merger of two Greek terms of "mega" meaning large and "lithic" signifying stone.

Presently the megalithic tribes of India use various structures of stone as burials or memorials of the dead. However in the past megaliths were not only sepulchral/funerary structures but were also used both as memorials of the dead and to commemorate various events of the family and that of the community. Megaliths were found even to be used as boundary markers and also as astronomical structures.

MENHIRS. CHATRA

MENHIRS. CHATRA


Each passing day numerous ancient megaliths get destroyed in India and we have no record of this disaster. It is sad that no government agencies like the ASI, the State Archaeological Depts and the District Administrations demonstrate any interest in their protection perhaps for their tribal origin and also possibly because megaliths to them do not appear to be significant relics of our land.

In actuality prehistoric megaliths are a significant source of our ancient history and their preservation is imperative as these monuments are evidences that India was indeed a land of the tribals in hoary times. A few of them however suggests that astronomy and geometry was known to the megalithic tribals millennias prior to the emergence of the Brahmanical astronomer/mathematicians. Obliteration of prehistoric megaliths is bound to erase this verity.

To view a few photographs of megaliths of India visit:

http://www.megalithsindia.in/2010/11/images-of-megaliths.html

The photographs and essays from this website may be used for research purposes giving credit to it.

Come let’s celebrate megaliths…

HISTORY BOOKS OF JHARKHAND WILL NOW TEACH MY RESEARCH ON MEGALITHS FROM THIS YEAR...now this is some news !!!

UMBRELLA STONES OR KUDAKALLU

UMBRELLA STONES OR KUDAKALLU
KERALA

Thursday, 15 December 2011

MEGALITHS OF ASOTA, PAKISTAN

Fig 1. A section of the ruined stone circle of Asota


The megalithic complex of Asota in Pakistan though stands ruined today, is one of the last remaining portion of a stone circle of the sub continent. Though in a ruinous state today yet one can easily perceive with how much grace and aplomb these magnificent stones once stood.

This fascinating megalithic site in Pakistan is situated near a village called Shewa. 

The monument once comprised about 32 menhirs having an average height of about 3.5 meters and the circle had a diameter of about a 17 meters.

The menhirs are found to be placed at uneven gaps, the minimum space between the menhirs is 0.67 and the maximum is 1.34 meters.

At one time when the stone circle stood with full majesty two smaller stones could have been seen positioned adjacent to each other which perhaps marked the entrance within the circle.


Fig 2. The Stone Circle from another side. 

The yellow parabola drawn on the left stone is to show the parallel lines inscribed on the stone. 

As far as I know, no funerary remains have been reported from the stone circle concluding which many scholars have surmised that the megalithic complex is perhaps non sepulchral.
Scholars therefore are utterly confused regarding the purpose of the erection of the stone circle.


PURPOSE OF ASOTA:


Megaliths all over India are sacred to the non-Hindu megalith making tribes who held them very sacred and worship them even today.

It is understandable that like many of her sister monuments in the sub-continent the intention behind the erection of the Asota megaliths must have been to serve as a burial, a memorial of the dead or even to perform as an astronomical observatory or a calendar for the non-Aryan proto austroloid megalithic tribals who once resided here in the course of their onward journey into heartland India. 

Megalith making on the dead is still continued unabated by a few of these tribes who today resides in the states of Jharkhand and Chattisgarh and even in the North East of India for over thousands of years.

As no funerary remains as bones, sarcophagus, urns or pitchers have been unearthed from here, the polished menhirs within the megalithic complex could have been implanted by the non-Aryan tribals to observe the transits of the sun, for which the stones were positioned in accordance.

Perhaps for the same reason the Asota megaliths are still known as "a Sun Temple" to the locals.
Observatories in India are still regarded as 'Maan Mandir" (Mandir refers to temples of the Hindus). 

Fig 3.


The significant peaks and notches of the encircling mountain to which the monument is aligned may not be visible today. The sunrise of the Equinoxes and solstices and other significant calendrical dates which too may not be  detectable now due to the growing houses and trees around the megalith, must be attempted to be studied. The azimuths of the positioning of the stones too should also be taken into consideration.

One of the menhirs houses about 15/16 horizontally parallel lines (Fig 2). Could they suggest that the megalithic complex may have also served as a lunar calendar? 


THE POSSIBLE BUILDERS OF ASOTA:


Scholars in Pakistan tend to believe the megaliths to be a Hindu creation, such a fallacy emerges from being ignorant of the megalithic proto austroloid Kolarian Mundari tribals;though concentrated mostly in the east of India today they have spread widely across the land . 

Their folklore speak of their stay in the region in the course of their migration into India in antiquity. Proofs of their stay in the region exist in the forms of these megaliths which they had left back and among the many names of towns, villages, rivers and hills which on contrary to popular belief is neither Sanskrit nor Urdu but austric Mundari in origin.

The megaliths of Asota like Burjhaom therefore is undoubtedly a tribal creation. 

(Megaliths of India is grateful to Mr.Nawaz Ud-Din, Gallery Assistant of Peshawar Museum for providing these spectacular photographs and to Muhammed Zahir of Hazara University Manshera, Pakistan )

©Subhahsis Das 

12 comments:

At first glance, it appeared to be a mini Stonehenge!.... and if your hypothesis about it being an astrological site is right, then that's another similarity, right?
Kalyan Biswas

But then if you follow my post many megaliths in India (including the one my page of Punkri Burwadih) are astronomical. But Asota is super; nothing similar has been found anywhere (till date) in the sub continent.

I do follow your posts, Subhashis.... but nothing in India, so far has leapt to the eye in this manner, so far!
Kalyan biswas

Bhai wah, I searched and searched for Asota megaliths coulod find it at no where till i stumbled on to your site.
Thank Das Saab for the infos on Asota.

What a website on megaliths!

Hey,
I live in the next village to Asota. I have been wondering about the truth about the purpose of the megaliths. I guess the name of the village "asota" is a sinscrit word and the meaning has to do something with the megaliths. Please do share your thoughts if you know the language.

Muhammed Saab,

Pardon me for being a little late in replying. You are so fortunate to be able to live adjacent to the grand megaliths of of Asota.
You ask me the meaning of the term Asota. Well to be honest I do not know for sure. This could be Sanskrit in origin,if it is an old name. Asi + Ota is the possible explanation which the scholars usually furnish for the germination of the word.
Ota is a term for 'stone'. But we have no other clue at the moment.

If you have thoroughly read my post on Asota, you may find the term could have an austric Mundaric tribal origin too as it may have been the megalithic Mundas who may have had built the monument during their stay in here on their onward migration to India.

ASota also happen to fall on their migratory route into India.

Sounds a little crazy but due to this many names in Pakistan be it of villages, rivers, hills or towns are Mundari in origin.

Please take care of the megaliths and feel proud of them.

This comment has been removed by the author.
This comment has been removed by the author.

thanks for your research.I belong to village Asota Sharif.
The stone circle is situated in village Asota Sharif.
We heard the word ASOTA means upright & stone.
There was slate which had an inscription dated 1905.
Local people say it has a treasure underneath.and women who were going in wedding procession turned into stone because decoits wanted to abduct them.

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Interesting,
Being a Geographer and resident of the locality, Though i visited the site twice but along with mysteries of its origin, purpose, motive what i concluded from conversation with locals and your extremely informative historical is....
It has been built for astronomical and time and date calculations.
I will definitely now study it with geographical point of view like its azimuth, angles in summer and winter solstices and other things.
I have found a hundred years old picture in archive in which number of stones are more than what is present on ground so change detection will also be helpful.
Will share my findings with you.
naveedalam.gis@gmail.com

Alam Sahab. Please share your finding s. Waiting anxiously.
Regards
Subhashis Das

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