The Purna river basin in Amaravati district of Maharashtra has been attracting the attention of archaeologist since 1960s. The said area was explored by Shri. B.P. Bopardikar of the Prehistory Branch of the Survey. He surveyed the Purna river, falling within the Akola, Amaravati and Jalgaon Districts, and discovered a number of early, middle and late stone age sites, besides a chalcolithic and several early historical ones. Later on in 1979-80 the Purna valley falling within Amaravati district was also explored by department of Ancient, Indian, History, Culture and Archaeology, Nagpur University, Nagpur and brought to light Kholapur. Apart from this, the said river valley was also explored by Archaeological Survey of India under Bembla river project, Shahanoor river project and under the village-to-village survey programme. All these explorations brought to light lower Palaeolithic, Chalcolithic, early historical and late historical sites.

This office has undertaken Archaeological exploration/section scraping/trial digging in the Purna river basin, Maharashtra, which yielded eight medieval sites and one Chalcolithic site. The details of the sites explored are given below :

1 Phubgaon 21˚13’404’’N, 77˚39’175’’E Amravati Chandurbazar Chalcolithic to Early Historical
2 Kotgavandi 21˚ 11’611’’N, 077˚ 37’ 355’’E Amravati Chandurbazar Medieval Period
3 Krishnapur 21˚ 14’ 586’’ N, 77˚ 40’ 762’’E Amravati Chandurbazar Historical to Medieval Period
4 Kurul Purna 21 13’ 771’’ N, 77˚ 40’558’’ E Amravati Chandurbazar Late Medieval Period
5 Udapur Maroti 21˚13’912’’N, 77˚40’438’’ E Amravati Chandurbazar Late Medieval Period
6 Bahadarpur 21˚10’110’’N, 77˚35’741’’ E Amravati Chandurbazar Historical to Late Medieval Period
7 Korambi 20˚59’925’’N, 77˚24’258’’ E Amravati Daryapur Medieval Period
8 Narayanpur Devsthan 21˚00’944’’N, 77˚ 23’840’’’E Amravati Daryapur Medieval Period
9 Khirgavahan 21˚01’058’’N, 77˚27’468’’ E Amravati Daryapur Historical to Medieval Period
Purna River Purna River Purna River

Exploration and Documentation work of decorated Rock shelters in Gawilgarh Hills

The Archaeological Survey of India, Nagpur, has discovered and documented Two hundred and forty seven decorated rock shelters in the Gawilgarh Hills bordering Amravati district of Maharashtra during the years 2012-15. The Excavation Branch I of the Survey, at Nagpur, explored and documented decorated rock shelters in the Gawilgarh Hills of the Satpura mountain ranges, in the Multai and Atner tehsils of Betul district.

The decorated rock shelters spread across the Gawilgarh hills have been divided into twenty two groups, their nomenclature derived from either the village nearby or any shrine or locally known landscape of the area. The groups so named are Ambadevi (ABD) group named after the present shrine –twenty two shelters; AgyaDoh (AGD)- five shelter; Borkap (BKP)- three shelters; Ghodamma (GDM) -two shelter; Gaimukh (GMK)- twenty one shelters; Ghorpend (GPD) -twelve shelters; Jhunkari (JNK) - two shelters; KosumbGupha (KMG)- six shelters; Kund (KND)- seven shelters; Kukadsadev (KSD)- sixteen shelters; Lamgondhi (LGD)- one shelter; Mendhagarh (MDG)- seventeen shelters; Mungsadev (MSD)- one shelter; Pat (PAT)- twenty eight shelters; Pachmuh (PCM)-seven shelters; Pachumri (PMR)- twelve shelters; Ramgarh (RMG)- six shelters; Salbuldi (SBD)- thirty nine shelters; Telkan (TKN)- sixteen shelters; Takira (TKR)-sixteen shelters; Ugum (UGM)- seven shelters and Amrai (AMR)- one shelter.

The decorations on the rock shelters of Gawilgarh Hills fall under two broad divisions; viz. Pictographs executed in different colours like green, white, black and different shades of red and Petroglyphs comprising bruising, pecking, engraving and cupules. The themes of decorations revolve around diverse forms of Nature; flora and fauna; hunting scenes; war scenes and abstract geometric patterns..