Devidhura Revisited: A Re-examination of the Vestiges of “Megalithic” Culture Reported from Devidhura, Kumaon

Publication Type:

Book Chapters

Source:

RIVISTA DEGLI STUDI ORIENTALI, FABRIZIO SERRA · EDITORE, Volume XCIV, 2-4, Rome, p.217-240 (2021)

Keywords:

Cupules, Devidhura, Kumaon, Latina and Valabhi Temples, Megaliths, Petroglyphs, Wedge Marks

Abstract:

Vestiges of a prehistoric megalithic culture have been reported from Devidhura, near Almora in the Kumaon Himalaya, in 1856, and subsequently. We visited Devidhura in December 2019, to study the reported megalithic remains. We have found that several of the features attributed to a megalithic culture have been erroneously identified. Rock art features such as petroglyphs and other carvings, previously attributed to this period, were found to be products of stone-working by the builders of a nearby temple to the goddess Ma Varahi Devi, and associated structures, which date to the 8th or 9th century CE. In this paper we critically examine earlier literature on the mega-lithic remains at Devidhura in the light of our observations and make a case that there is no evidence to suspect the existence, in the prehistoric past, of a megalithic culture at Devidhura. We call for a similar examination of the other centers of megalithic culture reported from Kumaon and Garhwal.

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