31st July 2018.
The practice of erecting these type of menhirs - குத்துக்கற்கள் - in remembrance of the dead was followed since Sangam period. This was mentioned in one of the Sangam literature as “நட்டாபோலும் நடாஅ நெடுங்கல்” (அகம் 269). The size of the menhirs ( depends on the availability of Stone ) shows the social status and the reason for the death of the person. The reason may be died in the process of recovering the cattle or may be died in war between two groups. Since there are no inscriptions found ( may be erected before the evolution of scripts), we do not know for what purpose it was erected. Usually these menhirs are adjacent to Cairn circles, cist and Dolmens. This is the continuation process after erecting Cairn circles and Dolmens. More than one Menhir on the same place will be erected for the group of people, which we had seen at Kodumanal, Panchalingapuram and Mukkudivelampalayam. These menhirs are worshiped, poojas are also performed daily in addition to the annual functions.
In this post, I will be posting the menhirs of Kongu region. Many of the menhirs available are between the banks of river Noyyal and Amaravati, till they joins with river Cauvery. This indicates that ancient human settlement was between the banks of river Noyyal and Amaravati in Kongu region. As per Pulavar Se Rasu, Former head of Epigraphy and Archaeological department of Thanjavur Tamil University, Kongu Nadu has the maximum number of menhirs.
MENHIR AT KUDUMIYAMPALAYAM (RR THOTTAM).
This single menhir stands to a height of 11 feet in the midst of coconut farm belongs to R R Constructions of Erode. easily not visible from out side. Width is about 4 feet and thickness is 3/4th feet. Cracks are noticed at the center. A cist’s side stones are found in front of the menhir.
LOCATION: Lat 11deg 11’ 34.14” & Long 77deg 41’ 33.61”
MENHIRS AT RETTAPALIVALASU.
This Rettaipalivalasu is very near to Tindal. There are two menhirs of one stands to a height of 25 feet with a width of 8 feet and thickness 1 feet. The other one is very short of about 4 feet ( might have broken ). The disturbed cairn circle stones are found near. The vegetation growth obstructs the view of the Menhirs. The area was made in to real estate plots and it may disappear very soon.
LOCATION: Lat 11deg 18’ 28.61” and Long 77deg 41’ 31.16:
MENHIRS AT PANCHALINGAPURAM.
There are 4 menhirs of which 2 are broken and visible up to the base. These menhirs are in worship and people calls as “Nattukal”- நாட்டுக்கல். During Adi month special poojas are conducted to these menhirs. This is on the way from Erode to Karur route and difficult to notice from the main road due to obstruction of coconut trees.
LOCATION: Lat 11deg 15’ 25.53” and Long 77deg 48’ 0.37
This Mukkudivelampalayam is a part of Pasur, This place is on the Erode to Karur bus route near Cholankapalayam. There are two menhirs standing to a height of about 20 to 25 feet. Had seen the broken pieces of stone slabs found near the mehirs, may be some more menhis existed in the same place, These menhirs are under worship. People used to these menhirs as “Vedan kal” வேடன்கல், higher one is Male and the shorter one is female. During the celebration of annual festival in the 1st week of February at Mariamman Temple, pooja is being conducted first to these menhirs and Brinjal with கருவாடு/ dry fish is offered. This food will be prepared from a Nadar ( moopanar ) community.
LOCATION: Lat 11deg 13' 55.9 and Long 77deg 51' 18.3"
With a great difficulty we could able to visit this place. This place is called as “Kurangu Pattarai” குரங்கு பட்டறை, by the locals. More than 50 cairn circles with Cist are there around these menhirs. Some Cairn circles has the small menhirs also. These menhir is unique in nature. Stone slabs to a height of about 7-8 feet are erected like walls to form a square. Only four are standing now, the rest had fallen down. At the center of the Square we could find a triangular stone, experts of the opinion that it must be a cist. Near to this menhirs, we found another square shaped structure, but here no menhirs are standing.
When we found to very difficult to locate the menhirs the Villagers came to our rescue and showed us the menhirs and Cairn circles. ( Krishnan 9943710593)
LOCATION: Lat 10deg 50' 58.60" and Long 78deg 11' 27.31"
This single menhir is standing at the entrance of a private farm. This menhir measues to a height of 8 feet with a width of 4 feet and 1 feet thickness.
LOCATION: Lat 11deg 4' 4.05" and long 77deg 48' 24.82"
MENHIR BETWEEN THALIAPATTY & MANAVADI.
After Jagathabi, while we are travelling towards Thukkachi ( Rajendra Chozha’s period Hero Stone ) happened to see this menhir. Up to 2 feet only remains above the ground level. As per the experts this is also a menhir.
LOCATION: Lat 10deg 52’ 5.88” and Long 78deg 6’ 43.53”
---OM SHIVAYA NAMA---