26th July 2017.
These menhirs are erected as monuments for the deceased. This may be erected on the burial sites it self or on near the buried place. The height and size of the menhirs depends on the social status of the deceased. This practice is being followed from ancient times, which was mentioned in the Tamil literature Purananooru and Akananooru.
'பரலுடை மருங்கின் பதுக்கை சேர்த்தி
இனி நட்டனரே கல்லும்'
என்று கூறும் (264)., அகநானூற்றில் இவை
'சிலை ஏறட்ட கணைவீழ் வம்பலர்
உயர்பதுக்கு இவர்ந்த அதர்கொடி அதிரல்
'பிடிமடித் தன்ன குறும்பொறை மருங்கின்
நட்ட போலும் நடாஅ நெடுங்கல்'
என்றும் குறிக்கப்படுகின்றன (289, 269).Thanks to Aragalur Pon Venkatesan for Tamil
This practice is also followed in many countries like France etc. One of the tallest menhir available now is in France is about 20 meters. In Tamil nadu Menhirs are found at Kodumanal, Nichampalayam and Kumarikal Palayam in Kongu Region, Papanaikanpatti in Madurai, Sirapalli near Attur on the way to Rasipuram. There are three menhirs available at Nichampalayam of which one is shorter and other two are about 20 to 30 feet high. But Nichampalayam Menhirs are shorter than the Kumarikal Palayam and Kodumanal. In addition to this there are few cairn circles too, which are in disturbed condition.
The following photos are taken from an Amman Temple at Nichampalayam belongs to Naikar community. Though these stones are erected in remembrance of the deceased in side the temple premises but the deceased were laid to rest somewhere else. These may be an extension of menhirs.
On the way back to Kolappalur found these stones on the road side, white washed and kungum are applied. The purpose of these Stones are not known.
KARKUVAIThese are called as Karkuvai ie stones are stacked in orderly fashion on a burial site of a deceased. This is near the Village Nichampalayam. It was told that, it belongs to Boyar Community ( who dig wells ) and Special poojas are conducted once in a year.
---OM SHIVAYA NAMA---