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Cave painting found in Satpura ranges in Madhya Pradesh.
Mumbai - A group of naturalists from Amravati districts has discovered a set of 17 unique cave paintings in the nature-rich Satpura range of Madhya Pradesh - which opens up new avenues of research as this art form are believed to be of Paleolithic period.

The group call themselves, 'Hope', and has been working since the last six years on this project. The group include scientist Dr V T Ingole, wildlife writer PS Hirurkar, Padmakar Lad, Shirishkumar Patil, Dnyaneswar Damahe and Manohar Khode. They are a group of nature and bird lovers, and luckily chanced upon these unique paintings.

Ingole said that the work has been published in the journal of the Rock Art Society of India. The first cave with a rock painting was spotted in January 2007. "It is really unique and must be preserved," says Ingole speaking over phone from Amravati.

The place where these cave paintings are located at Dharur, nearly 55 kms away from Morshi in Satpura ranges. "We have so far found and surveyed 65 rock shelters and we found 17 cave paintings," Hirurkar told Sakaal Times over phone from Amravati. "We expect that there could be more such paintings in the 20-km range of our current discovery," he said, adding: "We expect this to be 15,000 to 20,000 years old." All these are located in the Tapti valley.

He also said that though the site is located in Madhya Pradesh, they expect help from the Maharashtra Government as well. They are also requesting the Archaeological Survey of India to concentrate on such discoveries - which unravel the history. "We should not neglect this," he said.

Talking about his discovery, Hirurkar draws parallel with the Bhimbetka rock shelters, which is a World Heritage Site. "In these paintings one can see images of different animals," said Ingole.

The first cave which was visited is facing the north is in good condition and has more than 50 rock paintings comprising mainly of animal figures such as a herd of spotted deer, a herd of Samber, Rhinos, a group of wild dogs, bison, blue bull, tiger, and so on. The stags are painted very prominently with long antlers.

Majority of paintings are painted in red colour perhaps with red iron oxide. There are other paintings which are coloured in white mainly depicting human figures on horse with sword and other gears. Two smooth deep holes (mortar like) 10 cm diameter and 15 cm deep were also found near the cave. These holes might have been used to powder course minerals ultimately to be used for paint.

Some of the caves appear to have been visited by locals for some religious function as some overwriting were observed.