Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Buxwaha diamond colliery in Chhatarpur has turned out to be a mine of Indian heritage which traces back to an unfathomable antiquity.
According to a study by Archaeological Survey of India, rock shelters with historic and prehistoric paintings have come to light.
Now that three rock shelters with paintings of Mesolithic Age have been ferreted out at the diamond mine site, locals are worried about protecting their heritage.
Earlier, they raised a hue and cry over destroying environment of the area by the company which has taken contract for mining diamond.
Besides the paintings, the archaeologists have also come across several ancient idols of Ganesh and Hanuman.
To save those precious paintings and idols, public interest litigation was filed at the high court, Jabalpur.
The high court asked the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a study and send a report.
A team of ASI from Jabalpur circle, led by Sujeet Nayan, conducted a study of the site from July 10 to July 12.
They discovered many such artifacts from the womb of the site as depict the glorious past of the country.
Locals, however, told the ASI officials that there might be many more such sites in the nearby forests, says the ASI report.
The survey began from Imlighat, nearly 15km from Buxwaha town. Rock paintings were found at three sites.
Besides that, in a nearby village, Kushumar, lie many ancient sites containing icons.
PG Najpandey and Rajat Bhargava filed public interest litigation at the National Green Tribunal.
A copy of it was sent to a lawyer Prabhat Yadav who filed a PIL at the high court.
In the wake of the high court order, ASI conducted the survey. It says that there was a human settlement in the area in the prehistoric and historic periods.
The ASI report says that the paintings found in the first cave are hard to decipher, as it has lost its tinge because of the vagaries of weather. Lead red colour was used for the paintings.
The second rock shelter situated on a sandstone hillock was found in Buxawaha. The paintings in this cave belong to the Middle Stone Age.
Most of the paintings are made at the ceiling of the cave. Ancient men used white colour and charcoal to make them. These paintings are still decipherable.
Most of the paintings in this rock shelter are of historic period, but there are a few that belong to the Mesolithic Age. They are X-ray style paintings.
Therefore, it shows that the ancient men used this cave as settlement for a long time. The paintings portray daily life, flora and fauna of the area and hunting scenes.
The paintings, made in lead red and found in the third rock shelter, limn horsemen, elephant riders and a wild boar.
The prehistoric remains were discovered from Dhimarkhua area in Kasera village.
Another rock shelter situated 25km from the Buxwaha town comes under the forest range of the area.
This site is known as Putariyanala in Nimaanee village, but a few locals have recently made some paintings at the site.
The area lies in the dark green forest occupied by wild animals.
Locals say mystery peeps through every rock of Buxwaha. Other than diamond, nobody knows the jewels it hides in its rocky womb, they add.