Bihar’s first Megalith sites discovered in Rohtas

Two pre-historic Megalith (loosely arranged stone structures with no concrete or mortar) sites were recently found in Rohtas district of south-west Bihar — in an indication that the state could be part of the Megalithic culture.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2018 08:47 IST
Prasun K Mishra
Prasun K Mishra
Hindustan Times, Sasaram
Bihar,Megalith,Rohtas
Megalith stones found in Rohtas. (HT Photo)

Two pre-historic Megalith (loosely arranged stone structures with no concrete or mortar) sites were recently found in Rohtas district of south-west Bihar — in an indication that the state could be part of the Megalithic culture which lasted in India from 1500 BC to 600 BC covering the Copper Age and the Iron Age.

Megaliths were the burial sites or monuments constructed in the memory of ancestors. In most structures, people kept an urn containing mortal remains. Stone pillars were installed at the burial for identification. A vertical Megalith is called Menhir, while standing stones arranged in a circle are called Stone Circle.

Researcher Dr Shyam Sundar Tiwary discovered the sites in the Kaimur hills under Nauhatta block of Rohtas district, 205 km south-west of Patna. He found two Sangora burials and two Menhirs at one site. At the second site 3km away, 10 Megalithic burials encircled with stone pillars of 50 centimeter to 2.5 meter in height were found. Tiwary chanced upon these sites during the World Heritage Week.

Tiwary suspected that the sites were damaged as local tribals had taken away stone pillars. Therefore, he urged the authorities to preserve the historical treasure.

Congratulating Tiwary on Facebook, Megalith expert Subhashis Das wrote, “Dr Shyam Sundar Tiwary has created history of sorts by discovering these megalithic burial (hargarhi) sites in Kaimur in Bihar. Now, we can say that Bihar too is a megalithic state.”

Das’s books — The Secret Stones in Indian Civilization, Unknown Civilization of Prehistoric India, and Archaeo Astronomy of a few Megalithic Sites of Jharkhand — are termed masterpieces for Indian Megalithic culture.

“Earlier, Megalith sites were discovered near Hazaribagh and Ranchi in Jharkhand. But no such site was found in Bihar. It is the first time that these strucutres were found here,” said Dr Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, the director of Patna’s Bihar Virasat Samiti and former director of KP Jaiswal Research Institute in Patna.

Das said Megaliths are significant to prove that the area was originally the land of aboriginals. The structures also indicated that people at the time knew about astronomy and measurement.

“Megalith stones found had a length of 72, 54, 18 and 9 inches divided by 9 are in exact north-south or east-west direction. Secondly, their accurate facing to the rising Sun of both Equinoxes (March 20 or 21 and September 22 or 23) and awareness about the Summer and Winter Solstices (June 20 or 21, and December 21 or 22) is great evidence of their knowledge about astronomy,” Das said.

The most important Megalithic site in India is at Burjhaom near Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir.

First Published: Dec 08, 2018 08:47 IST