Usgalimal Rock Carvings

Past a fairly dense forest in the village of Usgalimal, via a winding path, behind old iron ore mines right where there is a bend in river Kushavati, there is a sloping laterite shelf with carvings that date back to the Upper Palaeolithic or possibly the Mesolithic era, known as the Usgalimal Rock Carvings. Essentially 20,000 to 30,000 years old, the rock carvings were discovered by the villagers of Usgalimal and pointed them out to archaeologists in 1993. You can clearly make out around 100 distinct carvings in the shape of human and bull figures, spirals, lines, labyrinths on the laterite rocks.

Given its significance, the carvings are considered as one of the most important pre-historic sites that have been unearthed in western India. Some of these rock carvings or rather rock art (petroglyph) and finds from this site have been put up for display at the Panaji Archaeological Museum. Spread over a surface of 500 meters, the rock art was carved out by tools possibly made of flint, considered harder than laterite. You will find more animal figures, most being hunted down, than human ones here, with the one of a dancing woman being particularly striking.

The carving of seven concentric furrows around 15 cms wide is one of the more prominent carving out here. Behind the carvings is a reservoir, small in size and a canal, a meter wide, to catch the water from the river in times of overflow and monsoons and protect the carvings from getting flooded. A slice of human history, the Usgalimal carvings are nothing short of awe-inspiring and mesmerizing.