Monoliths with no name

Some forty years ago, when my father was bringing us all back from some pilgrimage, I saw a landscape with some standing rocks that looked so fascinating, that their memory etched in my mind. We were returning by car, and I remember that we were either going to or from Vellore in Tamil Nadu. Now, these rocks were like four ancient pillars, standing next to each other, like sentinels of time, withstanding erosion of eons.

That memory remained with me, and I did ask Cyril, a friend of mine in Ranipet (near Vellore) whether he had sighted any such rock formation. He said he may have, and tried to locate that site by asking others. But the trail led to a blank.

And then, last Sunday, on 25th Nov, when I was on the road on the way to Tirupathi, in the horizon, I saw them…


That’s it, I said…

Driving nearer, I clicked again



These are pretty tall monoliths. I guess they would be a hundred feet or more in height.

Here is a picture from the other side.

Monoliths TN 2


Had this been America or Europe, it would have become a place of importance from Geology point of view, and made into a tourist attraction. Perhaps, souvenir replicas would have been sold, small restaurants sprung up, and in a controlled manner, a rope-way or some way to go to the top… But this is India… One should be thankful that these have not been blasted by Granite quarry men. (One could see that granite quarry folks had cut into rocks in that area. But for some mysterious reason, they had spared these monoliths…)..  In a country where hundreds of temples that are hundreds (some thousand and more) years old are all in various stages of neglect, what chance do some stray monoliths stand? Sigh..

But who knows. Maybe the site is documented by the authorities as geologically important and declared a protected site in some Government circular. Let me grant the benefit of doubt.

I guess that we were probably traveling from Tirupathi to Vellore when I saw them the first time, decades ago. But yes… After four decades – magic happened, and I saw these monoliths from my memory spring back into matter.

Signing off with one more pic. Jai Ho!

Monoliths TN 1



4 Responses to “Monoliths with no name”

  1. t.s.viswanathan Says:

    excellent photos and the correct way to bring it to attention to your close circle. keep it up.
    these monoliths are found in arizona state, and to an extent in our own Mahabalipuram called as Bhimas aduppu. i do not know of any other state in India .
    ravi anna

  2. Krishnan Jagadeesan Says:

    Nice pictures and write-up. These monoliths can be found extensively in T.N. and A.P. and also in M.P. and Maharashtra. How many and for how long will they survive is anybody’s guess……JK

  3. Mani Says:

    Fascinating! These are so similar to the megaliths (dolmen) of Meghalaya; you can see some pictures of these at These were in fact memorial stones for the ancient Khasis and Jaintias…anthropologists might be interested in studying extraordinary evidence like this, that seem to tie the cultures of north-east India with southern India.

    Oh…and I came across very similar dolmens in Ponmudi (southern Kerala); asked local people and friends from Kerala, but no-one seemed to have a clue about what they were or who had placed them…

    Jai Hind!

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