TEKKALAKOTE

Tekkalakote is a small village in Siraguppa taluka of Bellary district, situated at a distance of about 45 miles from Bellary. This place was ruled by bAlada hanumappa nAyaka, Sultans of AdvAni and Hyder Ali after the fall of the Vijayanagar Empire. Hyder Ali has built a square shaped fort in this village. There is a hill called ‘huDEda guDDa’ in the South East direction of this town. This hill is one among the few pre historic sites found in Karnataka. Many relics belonging to the new Stone Age period dating back to 1770 B.C. are found here. The excavations were conducted in 1964 by M.S.Nagaraja Rao and others. Nineteen places, indicating human habitat were found here. Carbon dating procedures have revealed that these relics date back to a period spanning 1700 B.C. to 1000 B.C. The findings in these habitats are divided in to two phases.

            The first phase is characterized by polished stone axes, weapons made of flint stone, copper and bones, gold ornaments, (Ear rings) beads and clay utensils. Some of these utensils are decorated with red clay after the pots are burnt. Some cysts belonging to that period are also found here. The second phase also contains many of the above relics. But, one also finds red and black pots which are painted. Small black and red cups decorated in white are also found. Many graves also were excavated here.

            The Neolithic man emerged from the shelter of caves to build thatched huts for his residence. Sometimes, huts were constructed on a single post, which resembled an umbrella. Such huts were constructed at Tekkalakota.

            The information gleaned from these excavations is very valuable.  Even during the first phase, evidence of agriculture, hunting, hut building, pot making with out a potter’s wheel, consumption of cooked food, use and manufacture of small weapons and ornaments reflect various facets of their life. Drawings of a couple of pea-cocks, a snake, a bull and a deer found on the lid of a clay pot are ranked among the earliest such works in Karnataka. Many details regarding the burial practices of the inhabitants can be deduced on the basis of the information available. Their belief in the after life is proved by the practice of depositing vessels full of food by the side of dead bodies.

            There are a number of natural caves in the vicinity of Tekkalakote. They contain a few paintings in red clay. They depict bulls and human beings drawn in the style of Copper-Stone age.

Another interesting aspect of Tekkalakote is that many cultural facets of the lives of the people belonging to the New Stone Age are to be found even now in the primitive hunting community of boyAs. There are many similarities with regard to hunting, dancing, dwellings and drawings. This kind of continuity is very hard to find else where.

            Thus Tekkalakote represents an important chapter in the pre-historic findings in Karnataka. 

  

 

 

Further Reading and Links:

1.      The stone age hill dwellers of Tekkalakota : preliminary report of the excavations at Tekkalakota by M.S. Nagaraja Rao and K.C. Malhotra

 

2.      Stone Age cultures of Bellary, being a report of the excavation of Sanganakallu by Bendapudi Subbarao. 1948, Deccan College, Poona. 

 

3.      Prehistoric Cave Illustration from Tekkalakote (An Illustration from Kamat’s Potpouri)

 

4.      Group Dance
Cave Painting from Tekkalakote in Karnataka ( An Illustration from Kamat’s Potpouri)

 

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