Art & Culture, Mountains

Lakhudiyar and the languid…

Prehistory, one feels at times, deserves to be left alone… for we aren’t doing much with it, except maybe for emojis… there’s no cultures to revere or ancestries to venerate, and consequently, no opinions to subjugate… hardly any narratives soaked in drama… just a clutch of unembellished facts aloof to sensational revelations or discoveries… content to float in the periphery of oblivion, head just above the water…

At the face of it Lakhudiyar is analogous to a clickbait, hoping to attract the countless cars hunting for selfie points… there are as many as three signboards, including one by the tourism department where it seems like the copywriter lost the internet connection and was forced to concoct the last few words on his own… it has become a historical sight and also a piece of history to be preserved as it is an archaeological rock for India… either edging on idiocy or the Joycean, one smirks… cement poured down a single track’s throat that the moss tries to valiantly fight… thankfully, the end product more often than not tends to disappoint the modern-day sightseer… a small rockface with some faint scribblings is hardly something to get the tweeps and IGers raving after all, leaving a little bit of solace around the rock…

One lakh caves is what Lakhudiyar translates to; if correct, the forces of erosion have definitely played their part, one ponders… for a cave ‘tis definitely not… even as a rock shelter it’d not be a very utilitarian natural feature in its present state… the location isn’t bad though, resting on the shoulder of a mountain overlooking the Suyal river, surrounded by pine but who knows what the topography might’ve been then… something that makes prehistory or even ancient history perplexing… in a way ‘tis relatively easier when one hypothesizes on something totally out of reach like outer space… to have to build upon something that offers something tangible yet so obscure can be so exciting and tiresome at the same time for those analyzing…  

Maybe it is all pretty straightforward, the drawings… tectiforms resembling people holding hands, individual arrows or again people, wavy lines might be a representation of mountain ranges inching towards the horizon, there’s that quintessential animal motif – jackal slash fox, the hunter can’t be seen though, maybe ‘tis these are the first wildlife watchers… a rectangular shape that intrigues… what could have instigated the hunter-gatherer to break the shackles of subsistence and express himself in ochre…  

Who knows if all that deduction may come to zilch, not necessary that Palaeolithic sensibilities echo that of the modern era… even when we look at this part of history objectively, there is a sense of condescension that seeps in… a ‘primitive’ human rather than an ‘evolving’ animal… but history since the advent of language has seldom been written with humility in mind, so why should prehistory be any different… but maybe it should be, for that man was in fact humble, living with the elements like the rest of his faunal brethren…

It’s a rock being continuously smoothened by time, shiny and slippery so that posterity can’t deface this fragment of time maybe… a self-defence mechanism of the inanimate, one muses… what is pleasing about Lakhudiyar is an unassuming ambience that it exudes, a comfortable cove tucked inside an inconspicuous hill…

To think of it, we all have a prehistory, those individual fragments of childhood memory that remain sans any narrative or order, just random pieces of a jigsaw… not enough to complete the puzzle hence coveted as souvenirs…

Lakhudiyar

 

Lakhudiyar

 

Lakhudiyar

 

Lakhudiyar

 

Lakhudiyar

 

Lakhudiyar

 

Lakhudiyar

 

Prehistoric cave art - animal motif

 

Lakhudiyar

 

Prehistoric cave art

Rock paintings at Lakhudiyar, Badechhina, Almora, Uttarakhand…

Author: Parth Joshi

Mountain lover ⛰️ | Hiker 🥾| Runner 🏃‍♂️ | Cyclist 🚴 | Photographer 📷... allured by the outdoors, the author is a quintessential lost soul craving for the outdoors while suffering in a desk job...

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