These rock carvings which can easily be dated back to 15th century if not earlier, were lying abandoned near a small building in a random hamlet in the state of Karnataka. And yes, those white bits are bird dropping all over them.

I took the picture from the car, we were on our way to a famous historical town and had taken a slight detour to get there faster and that is when we saw these rock carvings. The first thought that crossed my mind was “we could steal these and sell them off in the black market for big bucks and no one would even know”. And this keeps happening in India, where a lot of ancient monuments lie unprotected and locals steal parts of them and sell them to middle-men who deal with art connoisseurs.

Look at the little idol that has broken off from the main rock sculpture and is lying on the ground, how hard is it for anyone to pick it up and sell it off? While it seems exciting to come across unprotected cultural artifacts like these in the middle of nowhere, it also bring home the sad realization – the lack of funds or off-course the misappropriation of funds when it comes to protecting ancient monument and art.

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