While the nation remembers and salutes those unsung heroes of Indian Independence on this day, how much have we known about those historical dedications made in the name of warriors who fought and sacrificed their lives?
There exist a number of historical monuments and sculptures gone unheard and untold to many of the youth even today. We hardly know about their existence and their importance as well.
One such evidence of history is splattered across India, but hardly known to many of us! It is the memorial stone of the braves who died in battles with the enemy and is most commonly known as “Veergal”.
Derived from Kannada Language, “Veera”- which means “Brave”. Veergal is also known as the Martyr stone or the Hero’s stone. Known to be erected around 3rd BCE- 18th CE, the largest concentration of these memorial stones ranging from 5th century onward was found in the state of Karnataka having about 2,650 hero stones!!
Usually divided into 3 areas, the stones are partitioned based upon the event they depict.
Lower part: events of the war in the battlefield.
Middle part: the hero seated in a palanquin or shrine being taken to heaven by Apsaras (Angels).
Top part: depicts auspiciousness and shows the hero worshipping a deity such as a Shivling.
Stones found in several parts of the country differ from each state. Stones found in the state of Karnataka, are seen with detailed information about the deceased such as the date of his death and his biography. While the stones found in some of the regions of Maharashtra, have just the statues carved on them.
These historic stones don’t just portray warriors who died in battle but also depict women who bravely gave up their lives by immolating themselves in the fire, else they will be caught hold by enemies and killed in a brutal manner. Two of the rare hero stones have also been found depicting women warriors going to battle dating back to 13th CE.Found all over India, these stones are named as “Sati Stones”.
While few of the stone sites are protected and cared by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the others are losing their prominence with the passage of time. Some of them have been losing its beauty being affected by nature and negligence of people, as these treasures of history are hidden from many of us who hardly know about their existence.