Mudumal village in Telangana’s backward Mahbubnagar district will probably shoot to fame for it seems to be the only megalithic site from India which contains a depiction of star constellation. As per inputs from local archaeologists and historians, this site probably contains the earliest astronomical observatory from India or even south Asia, dating back to 5000 BC.
A team of archaeologists from Korea, involving professors from a university, will be visiting the site in December to ascertain the veracity of the discovery, according to officials of Telangana Archaeology Department.
State archaeology director Visalakshi inspected the site on Saturday and directed the officials to fence off the area which has been unprotected so far. Visalakshi will also submit a report to the government early this week highlighting the need to protect the site. The officials also feel the need to acquire some private land for protection of the site and to make it a tourist site.
A cup-mark depiction of Ursa Major was noticed on a vertically planted squarish stone with a slanting face. About 30 cup-marks were arranged in a pattern similar to the appearance of Ursa Major in the sky. Not only the prominent seven stars, but also the peripheral groups of stars are depicted in a faithful way.
An imaginary line drawn through the top two stars – Merak and Dubhe – point to pole star or the North Star.
Mudumal contains about 80 big menhirs as tall as 12 to 14 feet, and about 2000 alignment stones of about 1-2 feet high.
These menhirs, alignments and stone circles are spread out in about 80 acres of land. The central portion contains the maximum concentration of Menhirs, explained Dr K Pulla Rao, who has been researching the site for over 11 years. Dr Rao is a history professor at the Hyderabad Central University. He was heading the Andhra Pradesh Department of Archeology and Museums earlier.
One of the northern stone is worshipped as ‘Thimmappa’ a male villege deity. Another shorter menhir in black stone close by is worshipped as ‘Ellamma’, a female deity.
The ‘Sky Map’ depicting the Ursa Major constellation is noticed on a stone found amidst the stone circles located about half a kilometer south west of the central area.