Pune: It is a well-known fact that the Satavahana dynasty was mainly based on the Deccan plateau, and thus relics belonging to this ancient era are mainly found in this region. Research scholar from Deccan College Jyotiram Deshmukh and his team members have found signs of inhabitation of people from the 2nd century, which is also the Satavahana period.
“These signs have been found for the first time in Manjari near Hadapsar. Before that, we undertook many excavations in different parts of Pune district and had found traces of older civilisations in Junnar and other parts of the district,” said Jyotiram.
While speaking exclusively with Sakal Times, Jyotiram said, “The exciting thing about this finding is that people were inhabiting here during the Satavahana period. We have found pottery, mud mount and three ‘virgal’, (tablets depicting the heroic deeds of a person). We have found this site last week near the banks of Mula-Mutha river. We were conducting exploration (primary survey) when we came across this.”
There are some signs of revival of habitation in the medieval period, which was sometime in 8th or 9th century,” he said.
Explaining more about the ‘virgals’, he said, “The virgal used to be erected if a person of the village died in a battle fighting for his mother land.”
“The ‘virgal’, which is made from basalt rock, is divided into three parts with upper most part showing the battle, the middle one showing two women lifting the person, who died, and the last or lower part showing that the same person is sitting before a Shivling’. This means he’s reached heaven,” he said.
“Since there is no written encryption on the stones, we have not found any data regarding the civilisation or anything related to it,” he said.
“We also have found a rock carving, which shows a lady and an elephant having an intercourse. This is called as ‘gajgal’. Interestingly, in the rural areas depiction of a woman having intercourse with an animal (generally a donkey) is erected on the land of a person, who has rebelled or acted against the villagers. Erecting such a carving means cursing the person and boycotting him and his family from the village,” he said.
“For the first time, we found the ‘gajgal’, in Maharashtra,” he said. He added, “Interestingly, we have not found anything which would tell us as why this inhabitation ended. Generally, any habitation being abandoned is either due to famine, flood or an epidemic. But here, we have not found a single reason as to why it was wiped out.” He was assisted in his research work by Santosh Zipre and Rahul Takale.