About the Book:
The provenance of all the ancient remains dealt with in this Monograph is provinces of India on the one hand and the great Indo-Gangetic plains on the other, this central table-land is traversed by the mighty Vindhya and Satpura hills, with their offshoots such as the Kaimur range, is watered by the Nerbudda, the Son, the Mahanadi and other smaller rivers and bounded on the south-east by the impenetrable forest land of the feudatory states of Central Provinces and Orissa. From times immemorial these tracts have been the home of India's aboriginal races, and it is to them that the student of primitive culture must turn for his material. The four localities visited by the writer for the exploration and study of rock-paintings and prehistoric remains may be conveniently called (1) Chakradharpur, (2) Singanpur, (3) Mirzapur and (4) Hoshangabad.
Chakradharpur is a small town in the Porahat estate of the district of Singhbhum in the Chhota Nagpur Division of the province of Bihar and Orissa. It is situated on the left bank of the river Sanjai, 16 miles north-west of Chaibassa, the capital of the district, and is an important station on the main line of the Bengal Nagpur Railway. The place is surrounded by ranges of hills disappearing on the horizon, as it stands at the edge of the Chhota Nagpur plateau. Outside the town and along the river, the whole valley is in a state of denudation. Every monsoon more and more soil is washed down the slopes, leaving ridges separated by rain gullies dotted over the valley, thus making the task of collecting antiquities a relatively easy one. At places the top soil is black, at places red, while gneisses, traps and schists are seen all round, lying in irregular succession. There are two gravel beds in the valley (Plate Ia).
The paintings of Singanpur are in a rock-shelter which is visible from Naharpali, a small station on the main line of the Bengal Nagpur Railway, about 11 miles west of Raigarh, the capital of the Feudatory State of the same name in the Chhatisgarh Division of the Central Provinces, just close to the Chhota Nagpur border. The hill-side below the rock-shelter is clothed with forest trees among which the Sal predominates. The rock-shelter which overlooks the village of Singanpur commands a fine view of the valley of the river Mand, a tributary of the Mahanadi river (Plate Ib). The rocks in this vicinity are of the upper Gondwana sandstones with three bands of carbonaceous shales.
The fauna of the Raigarh forest includes tigers, bisons, bears, leopards and will boars, besides the sambhar, nilgai, kotri and barking and spotted deer.
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