Hero Stones of Maharashtra
BRONATO.com, Jan 25, 2018
The subject of Hero Stones was neglected for long because of the misunderstandings and lack of awareness. Today at Bharat Etihas Sanshodhan, the Hero Stones are treated as the sources of information for the research. That is why the scholars have diverted their attention towards them.
In the last 7 to 8 years my books namely ‘Vikhuralelya Etihas Khuna’ and ‘Durgaleni- Div, Daman Goa’ and also through my articles in newspapers I have published information on Hero Stones. After reading those published matter, Mr. Dalavi had suggested that there should be an independent book on Hero Stones in simple Marathi language. He was willing to publish that through ‘Etihas Parishad, Konkan.’ He also suggested writing on the Hero Stones from Maharashtra State. This had some challenges because the Hero Stones are located in nook and corner of the villages, temples, hills, on the borders of the towns of Maharashtra. Some of them had lovely events carved on them. But there are no inscriptions talking about the names and details of those Heroes. So it was difficult to write about such nameless Hero Stones. Mr. Dalavi also insisted on the information should not be based on mythology or folk tales. In the region of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh or even in Gujarat, Rajasthan there are Hero Stones or Sati Stones with the names of the Heroes, Kings and the Sati in the form of inscriptions. But there are no such inscriptions on the Hero Stones in Maharashtra, with an exception of Mathagaon. In my travel for Hero Stones for last 45 years I have come across number of them on different forts and in the region of Sahyadri Mountain ranges. Now I had to start my search for inscriptions on the Hero Stones. I read the articles written on Hero Stones. I came across the book ‘Memorial Stones’ published in the year 1982 by Gunther D. Sontheimer and Setter S. who were the scholars in the Culture of Maharashtra. I also came across some information at Karnataka University and Dharwad. There were geographical, historical and cultural differences in the dynasties of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and other south Indian States. Specially the Hoysala Dynasties had the practice of a sacrifice of the warrior before proceeding to a war. It was performed on a grand scale in the form of a celebration. The servants who were loyal to the king would be impressed by the King. He would offer himself for such sacrifice out of self-motivation. He, then, would be seated in the special seat in front of the clarion that was played before the war. He would apply vermillion to his entire body, wear garlands, would hold a tuft of his hair with one hand and with a sharp sword in his right hand would cut his head with such a strength that his head would fall apart of his body in no time. His head would be rolling towards the war pole. Then there would be sounds of war clarion. Whenever the King would set out for war, this event would be considered as a good omen. The family of the warrior who sacrificed his life in such a manner would be presented with very valuable gifts. There would be stone erected to depict this event in the form of a picture. There are number of Hero Stones in Karnataka with details of such self-sacrificing warriors. The linguist of Kannada language Dr. G. S. Gaur has translated the information of these Hero Stones in English language. There are all the details on these Hero Stones regarding the date, day, year, the kings involved in the war, the names of winner and the looser, some pictures, and chronological records and hence are significant in the study of Hero Stones. I have included couple of photographs. The readers may get an idea of the same.....
....My other books namely ‘Durgyatri’, ‘Durgsampada Thanyachi’, Thane Killa’, Vikhuralelya Etihas Khuna’, Fort Caves (Durgleni- Div Daman Goa)’, have been well received by the readers. I expect the same love and affection from the readers and scholars of History for this new project of ‘Hero Stones of Maharashtra’.
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