IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Kumittipathi Rock Paintings

9th April, 2024 Culture and Heritage

Kumittipathi Rock Paintings

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  • Miscreants have caused significant damage to the Kumittipathi Rock Paintings, located in a cave near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
  • These paintings, which are approximately 3,000 years old, are considered among the most important rock art in the Kongu region.

Importance of Kumittipathi Rock Paintings:

  • The Kumittipathi Rock Paintings are drawn with white pigments on the walls of a natural cave and depict animals, human figures, chariots, and scenes from the lives of ancient inhabitants.
  • They offer valuable insights into the ancient culture and daily life of the region's early inhabitants.

About Rock Art:

  • Rock art encompasses various forms, including drawings, carvings, engravings, rock arrangements, and ground drawings, created on or of stone during ancient or prehistoric times.
  • These artworks often depict ancient animals, tools, and human activities, providing a window into the past.

Kumittipathi Rock Paintings at Pathimalai:

  • The paintings include depictions of an elephant, interpreted by some as symbolizing the practice of capturing and trading wild elephants in the region.
  • Other figures such as chariots, human figures, and scenes from ancient life are also present.
  • Geographical evidence and nearby archaeological sites suggest these paintings could date back to the 5th Century BCE.

Historical Significance and Trade Routes:

  • Kumittipathi's location in the Palakkad Gap of the Western Ghats has historical significance as a corridor connecting Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  • Ancient trade routes known as Peruvazhi existed in the Palakkad Gap, facilitating trade between regions.
  • During the Sangam period, trade routes passing through Anamalai, Vellalore, and Avinashi connected Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Preservation Efforts and Conclusion:

  • The vandalism of Kumittipathi Rock Paintings highlights the urgent need for increased protection and conservation efforts to safeguard our cultural heritage.
  • Preserving these ancient artworks is essential not only for understanding our past but also for enriching our cultural identity and heritage for future generations.


Q. Which natural feature in Southern India facilitated the existence of ancient trade routes known as Peruvazhi, connecting Tamil Nadu and Kerala?

a) Palakkad Gap

b) Wayanad Gap

c) Shencottah Gap

d) Tirunelveli Gap

Correct answer: a) Palakkad Gap